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jL North Carolina ~ 

Century farmS 

100 Years of Continuous Agricultural Heritage 

Dear Friend, 

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, along with Taylor Publishing Company, 
would like to extend to you our thanks and appreciation for your support in the publication of 
The History of North Carolina Century Farms. 

We know you'll receive many hours of pleasure as you read about the men and women 
who've helped shape America's "living" past, and that this book will become a treasured family 
heirloom — a cherished legacy for your children and grandchildren to enjoy as well. 

Perhaps you would like to have an additional copy for your family, for gift-giving or as a 
keepsake. A limited number of books are still available and can be ordered by completing 
and sending us the order form below. Orders will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis, 
so don't delay! Mail your order along with your payment for additional copies today!!! 

Century Farms of North Carolina 

Please send me copies of The History of North Carolina Century Farms at $32.95 each 

(includes postage & handling). $ 

Mail my book to: 



City, State, Zip 


Make checks payable to & mail to: 

Century Farms History Book 

P.O. Box 16384 

Chapel Hill, NC 27516-6384 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 



DEC 5 1989 


This book was made possible through 
the generous assistance of: 



Southern Bell Carolina Power & Light Company 


■■■ United 

I Telephone 

■■■ system Planters Bank 

Carolina Telephone Peace of Mind. Plain and Simple. 

Farm Credit Banks of Columbia 

North Carolina 

100 Years of Continuous 
Agricultural Heritage 

North Carolina Department of Agriculture 

Compiled by: Libby Gorman 

Mary Hunter Martin 

Edited by: Deborah Ellison 
Jearlean Woody 

Cover Design: Michael Reep 

Publishing Consultant: Susan McDonald 

Copyright © 1989 by the North Carolina 

Department of Agriculture 
All rights reserved. 

Printed in the United States of America 
by Taylor Publishing Company, 
Dallas, Texas. 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 89-61 145 

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]Bepsu:iment of Agrtmihtrr 

September 1989 

Dear Registered Century Farm Owner: 

You have in your hands the only history in North Carolina of 
family-owned farms dating 100 years or more. Information about these 
Century Farms is part of our heritage. It was too important to lose. The 
North Carolina Department of Agriculture, therefore, has preserved the 
history in book form as told by the registered Century Farm families. 

As Commissioner of Agriculture, I am pleased to present every 
registered Century Farm owner with a copy of the book. As you turn the 
pages, you will get a sense of the heritage of the state's agriculture 
through a short history which was compiled and written by James F. Devine, 
editor of the NCDA publication, Agricultural Review . 

In addition, there is a complete list, as of October 1988, of every 
registered Century Farm owner. It is followed by family-written histories 
of Century Farms whose owners wanted histories included. With many of the 
histories are family photographs that will bring back memories. 

The book was published by private corporation donation. We thank 
Philip Morris, U.S.A. for their major corporate sponsorship of this 
publication. Other contributors to the history are the Wachovia Bank and 
Trust Company, N.A. , Carolina Power and Light Company, Duke Power, 
Southern Bell, Planters National Bank, Carolina Telephone and Telegraph 
Company, and the Farm Credit Banks of Columbia. Without support of the 
corporations involved, publication would not have been possible. 

I thank June Brotherton and the staff of the Public Affairs Division 
who administer the Century Farm program. For two years, they have been 
working on the project. Also thanks to Susan McDonald, who represented 
Taylor Publishing Company, the publisher. 

I hope this book will be a family heirloom to you, and that it will 
not be the last history of Century Farms published in North Carolina. Our 
family farms are too important to lose. 

With all good wishes. 




Agriculture in North Carolina Before the Civil War by Cornelius O. Cathey, State Department of Archives and History, 
Raleigh, 1966. 

Atlas of North Carolina by Richard E. Lonsdale, UNC Press, Copyright © 1967. 

Indians in North Carolina by Stanley A. South, State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, 1965. 

North Carolina Department of Agriculture, How It Began, published by the NCDA. 

North Carolina Illustrated 1524-1984 by H.G. Jones, Copyright © 1983, The North Carolina Society. 

The Relation of North Carolina State College to the State Department of Agriculture by Eugene Clyde Brooks, State 
College Record, Volume 23, Number 3, October 1924. 


By arrangement with: 

North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Division of Public Affairs. 

North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill. 

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History. 

North Carolina State University, Department of Agricultural Communications, Division of Visual Communications. 


Compiled and written by James F. Devine, Editor of the Agricultural Review, 
North Carolina Department of Agriculture, April 1989. 

When the history of agriculture in North Carolina is considered, it usually conjures 
visions of colonists breaking ground for the first wheat crop, vast shasta fields of ripe 
cotton being picked by hand or patches of brightleaf, green and gold. 

That gets only a B-plus for the history student because he forgot that agriculture in 
what is now the Tar Heel State predates white men by two-thousand years. 


It began with Indians creating civilization. It started when they stopped depending 
totally on nomadic hunting and began to like the looks of one spot. It was when they 
decided it was easier to plant grain than to forage and easier to raise livestock than to 
chase it. 

Believe it or not, what those Indians discovered in a past so dim that it can be seen 
only in stone tool fragments, weapons and bones, had a direct bearing on North Caro- 
lina's farm economy from colonial day-one to North Carolina 1989. 

Corn, or maize as the red man called it, was introduced to those early settlers from 
Europe. And tobacco, the crop that forged the socioeconomic culture of this modern 
state, was unknown to the newcomers. In other words, corn and tobacco were greater 
new-world finds than the hoped-for gold and silver. 

Of course, the colonists brought their own brand of farming from the old country. 
They introduced crops and livestock as well as adopted those of their new home. 

Small grains, fruits and vegetables came with them. Sheep, cattle, hogs, horses and 
chickens were not native but adapted well to the foreign soil. Still, some fundamental 
Indian agronomic know-how gave a boost to European methods which had changed 
little since the dawn of time. It was a fish and a seed, a fish and a seed method. From 
those native Americans, colonists learned the art of fertilization. 


In the real sense, European agriculture had progressed very little from ancient 
times when the first immigrants began to establish permanent settlements on the 
North American mainland. The Renaissance had only begun with a great deal of 
hangover from the Middle Ages. 

Machine farming was virtually unheard of. Ox and plow were about as close to 
mechanization as man had come or would come for many decades. Agriculture was 
the job of almost 100 percent of the populace and was highly dependent on human 

Gristmill at Yates Pond near Raleigh. Built in the 18th 
century, it was typical of other mills in the state. 

Dozens of plank roads were built 
to help farmers in the 1850s, but 
failed due to cost and upkeep. 


Farmers out of the mud. At least they were on this 1898 macadam road in Mecklenburg 

labor. Without the machine, it is not hard to understand how slavery was so easily 
introduced into the colonies. And later, even with the advent of certain machines, 
slavery did not decline. It increased. Some believed the cotton gin was a major factor 
in that increase because it created more demand for cotton. 

The newcomers continued to plant, cultivate and harvest just as their fathers had 
done for centuries. They had the same problems as modern growers but lacked the 
tools to fight drought, pest and disease. It was classic plant-and-pray farming. 

Most of the so-called non-farmers of the time were agribusiness people. They were 
blacksmiths, horse traders and stable operators. Even the general store owners sold 
farm goods. And it's a pretty good bet, most of that crowd were sundown farmers. 

Eating was the number one concern of the new Americans. Trade was the hoped-for 
future, but for the moment, man had to feed his family and farming was about the 
only way to do it. 


Crops differed little from those raised by today's Tar Heel producers. Irish or white 
potatoes and sweet potatoes were native to the New World. The settlers quickly added 
them to their menu of imported carrots, onions, beets, squash, cabbage, lettuce and 
so on to offer a balanced diet though no one knew much about diets back then. 

Field crops of small grains, corn, peas and beans grew well in North Carolina's soil; 
so well, in fact, peas and beans provided the colony with major items of commerce. 

Tobacco and cotton were later to become the North Carolina's top farm income 
producers. Soybeans came much later and rice and sugar cane were dropped but with 
these additions and subtractions, crops had remained much like those of the settlers. 

Corn quickly became the most important food crop. It grew universally across the 
state and fed both man and animal. It was described by John Lawson, who wrote the 
first history of North Carolina, as "the most useful grain in the world." 

The grain was planted in hills, a method learned from the Indians. And oddly 
enough, the size of the crop was measured in hills planted rather than in acres. This 
practice was continued until the War Between the States. 

Hoe and hand labor were the usual planting method. Rows were not used as plant- 
ing was done in fields that still had stumps and roots. Cultivation was done with hand 
tools. Often a fish was put into each hill for fertilizer. 

Small grains were not widely planted in the Coastal Plain but they found their way 
into the Piedmont along with those settling the area. Corn, however, remained the 
primary grain. 

Rice was grown in the coastal regions but never in the quantities produced in South 
Carolina and Georgia. What was grown was high quality and in demand as seed from 
the other seaboard colonies. 

American Husbandry, a 1 775 London publication, was considered an accurate crit- 
ic of American agriculture. It said about North Carolina fruit production: "Fruit in 
none of the colonies is in greater plenty than in North Carolina, or finer flavour; they 
have every sort that has hitherto been mentioned in this work; peaches as in the cen- 
tral coloines, are so plentiful, that the major part of the crop goes to the hogs." 

Unfortunately, orchards were often in a sad shape since there were no markets for 
surplus figs, cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, pecans, quinces, damsons and 
nectarines. Making brandy and drying were the only ways of preserving them. 

Speaking of spirits, winemaking was big business in Tarheelia until its prohibition. 
At one time, North Carolina was said to be the largest winemaking state in the coun- 
try. In recent years, native muscadines along with the European vinifera have made 
a comeback. Wine is produced from vinefera at the Biltmore Estate near Asheville, 
while Duplin Wine Cellars at Rose Hill and its affiliates make wine from muscadines. 
Several other wineries also operate in the state. 

Wool and linen were the interests of English textile manufacturers. Their need for 
cotton was low. Still, cotton was grown for home use. It was later that cotton became 


Commercially, tobacco today is the state's leading crop. It was then. Its production, 
though, was limited to counties along the Virginia line and near the Albemarle Sound. 
It immediately became a major export crop. Demand for the leaf became so great, it 
was sometimes used as currency. 

High as an elephant's ear was the corn in the 1950s. 

Bulk people rather than bulk 
curing in 1 926. 

Even though the crop was firmly rooted in the colony's economic base, North Caro- 
lina ranked a poor third behind Virginia and Maryland in tobacco production. Yet, 
most of the colony's plantations produced it. The largest concentration of slaves and 
the biggest farms were in tobacco growing country. 

It was believed that the leaf grew best on recently cleared, vegetable-decay soil. The 
same fields were planted again and again until they were exhausted. No attempts were 
made to preserve fertility or prevent erosion as the work force continued to clear new 
fields. Such practices necessitated plantations be large. Plantation owners believed 
they should own fifty acres of land for each worker for profitable tobacco production. 

New land was the simple solution to depleted land. Tobacco planters sold their old 
farms to corn and wheat growers and moved toward the Piedmont. The drift away 
from the Coastal Plain was going strong as the Revolutionary War approached. 

Livestock was the top moneymaker for early farmers in the state. They realized 
more profit from cattle and hogs than from any other agricultural source. Large areas 
of unsettled land and open range practice did not require livestock producers to fence 
stock. Branding, however, was needed too for determining animal ownership. 

Sweets are a want of any society, affluent or otherwise. Beekeeping and honey pro- 
duction were practiced widely throughout the colony. One writer observed in 1 773: 
"Prodigious quantities of honey are found here of which they make excellent spirits, 
and mead as good as Malaga sack." 



Yet, with all the land offered its new tenants, progress came hard for colonial North 
Carolina. Even though farmers grew quality crops, their access to markets was limit- 
ed. There were no good ports and internal transportation was lacking. Emphasis was 
put on growing variety for feeding the family and local population rather than money 
crops. Farms devoted to producing cash crops such as tobacco and cotton were few 
compared to Virginia and South Carolina. 

If a house could only talk what tales it might tell; a 
reminder of things that were in eastern North Car- 

Memories of ol'-time stubbornness and aching backs. 

During the war for independence from Great Britain, food supplies for the popula- 
tion were usually adequate. There was some want of food in those areas of military 
activity. In fact, as the war was coming to an end, North Carolina was a main source 
of livestock and livestock products for both the Continental and British armies. 

Commerce was disrupted, however, as a result of the British naval blockade for the 
small number of North Carolina farmers producing for the export trade. So effective 
was it that it was almost impossible to deliver those commodities to market. 

Imports were also cut off. Sugar, rum and molasses were hard to come by, so hard 
that rum shortages brought on liquor stills and winemaking. Selling surplus grain and 
fruit as spirits became big business in North Carolina for several decades. 

More land went into cotton production during the war due to the inability to import 
textile goods. It was used mostly in the home and did not become an important export 
until Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1 792. By that time, the state had recov- 
ered to pre-war trade levels but the dollar value of export items were well below those 
of Virginia and South Carolina. 

Not much changed for OF North State agriculture following the revolution. It was 
not until the late 1 830s that railroad building was encouraged and that step was a step 
in the right direction. 


There were from the beginning advocates of agricultural reform. Many of these pro- 
gressives saw the state as backward and unresponsive to new ideas. The problems 
were seated in lack of education for the common people. Without that factor, they 
were deeply resentful of any tax increases or breaks from the idea that, "If it was good 
enough for grandpa, it's good enough for me." It was not until 1840 that tax- 
supported public schools were established. 

It is ironic that a people almost totally dependent on the industry of agriculture 
were so resistant to new farming methods which would have improved their lot. 

George W. Jefferies, one of the state's earliest agricultural reformists wrote in 1 820: 
"Our present, is a land-killing system, which must be altered for the better; for if pre- 
served in, it must ultimately issue in want, misery and depopulation." 

Of course, there were many seers and thinkers in Tarheelia. Unfortunately, the 
depleted soil and lack of new ground forced many of them to leave during the west- 
ward migration. This deprived the state of some of its finest minds and young people 
from all parts of society. By the 1820s, the situation was epidemic. From 1790 to 
1816, Archibald D. Murphey, an agricultural reformist, estimated 200,000 people 
headed west, sometimes abandoning their farms for lack of buyers. Despite efforts to 
keep people in North Carolina, the losses continued until the 1850s. 


The "Agricultural Revolution," as it is sometimes called, came to America in the 
1780s. Its effects were felt in North Carolina in spite of the barricades to progress. It 
was conceived by practical English agriculturists and its methods were adopted by a 
small number of North Carolina farmers. This would prove to be a major factor in 
North Carolina's rise as a modern, progressive state. 

Those early North Carolinians who accepted the idea that there might be a better 
way to farm were usually not well informed in scientific agriculture. Rather, they were 
practical men who believed that farming should be handled more business-like. For 
the first time, they kept records of soil preparation, seed selection, time of planting, 
cultivation, and costs. 

Success bred success and the movement caught on. Word spread by mouth, corre- 
spondence and newspaper. As a result, the number of reform-minded growers 
increased but the majority continued the "pa did it, so I'll do it" method. 

Still, the interest in reform had set a new cadence with more and more farmers 
marching to it but the pace remained slow until after the Civil War. 

Dr. Clarence Poe, editor of the Progressive Farmer 
magazine, at age 18. Poe was an advocate of improved 

Societies supportive of agriculture came into being shortly after the start of the 
nineteenth century. The Cape Fear Agricultural Society was founded in 1 8 1 at Wil- 
mington. Others followed with the Rowan County society one of the most active. It 
required each member to pledge "to turn his attention (as much as the situation will 
allow) to the study of agriculture, and on all occasions to impart to the society any 
improvements or discoveries he may make; also, to use every exertion in his power 
to procure correct models of the most approved farming implements in use in any 
part of the country." The Rowan society sponsored the first agricultural fair in the 
state in Salisbury in 1821. 

Success of the societies fostered interest and from the interest, a state-wide organi- 
zation evolved in 1818, the North Carolina Agricultural Society. Its primary aim was 
to promote farm reform. 

Decline of the societies set in, unfortunately, in the late 1820s. It is believed poor 
farm prices and lack of markets were contributing factors. But interest in agricultural 
reform renewed in the years just before the Civil War. Improvements in transporta- 
tion, communication and markets were some of the causes. 


Side-wheeler, thought to 
be the Cotton Plant on the 
Cape Fear River in 1851. 

King Cotton has made a comeback as at least a duke. 


Cotton and tobacco showed sharp increases in production in the two decades pre- 
ceding the Civil War. Cotton had been in some decline since 1 825 but new agronomic 
practices seemed to cause the resurgence in the fiber. Flue-curing leaf was a factor in 
the tobacco upswing. Demand was good for the high quality, rich flavored leaf that 
took on the color of gold when subjected to the forced curing process. 

Self-sufficiency on the farm was the goal of many farmers and to do so meant that 
grain had to be produced. Corn could be grown successfully in every part of the state 
unlike several other cereals. Corn filled that bill because it was an ideal food for both 
man and beast. 

Wheat also became widespread, though heaviest production was in the Piedmont. 
Rice was grown only in the coastal areas and never became a major industry. Fruit 
had only slight commercial importance though apple growers took the crop seriously 
and won several awards during the 1850s. Vegetables had not reached great heights 
as money crops, but the quality and quantity improved during the sweep of agricul- 
tural reform. There seemed to be ample supplies for home use. Sweet potatoes were 
grown on a fairly large scale and were the most popular vegetable in North Carolina. 
Irish (white) potatoes were produced, too, but on a much smaller scale. Peanuts, 
which are now a leading money crop, were just beginning to prove themselves as a 
commercial commodity. 

Animal agriculture was big business during Colonial times. Surpluses were pro- 
duced primarily in cattle and swine. So much so, they were sold in Northern markets 
and the West Indies. By 1 820 circumstances had reversed so that the state was no lon- 
ger self-sufficient in livestock. The reasons were many. There was less range land due 
to widespread dirt farming; little attention had been paid to selective breeding; shel- 
ter and winter feeding were not considered important; farmers neglected to produce 
enough livestock for on-farm use and livestock management had not changed since 
the Colonial period. 

On the eve of the Civil War, 70 percent of farmers owned less than 1 00 acres. Thirty 
percent owned 500 acres, and they were the slave owners. Unlike the movies, in which 
everybody had slaves, only the rich minority were owners. This is an indication of the 
great socio-economic gap that existed between the classes in the state. It tells history 
students of North Carolina's leading industry, agriculture, that farm reform, educa- 
tion and transportation were essential to the healthy development of a productive 


The Civil War — and its destruction and "reconstruction" — devastated the econ- 
omy of North Carolina. Agriculture, the mainstay of the state's slightly more than one 
million people, was severely stricken. Many farm families lost sons and fathers as well 
as farm property and livestock. The crops that were produced were poor and prices 
were low. After the war a system of farm tenancy developed which resulted in smaller 
farms with decreased efficiency. 

In an effort to combat these and other problems, farmers joined organizations such 
as the Patrons of Husbandry (the Grange) and the Farmers' Alliance. While these 


organizations did give farmers a united voice for sounding their grievances, they did 
not solve many of the existing problems. To the majority of farmers, the most feasible 
solution seemed to be the establishment of an agricultural department as part of the 
state government. 

As early as 1 860 Governor John E. Ellis had urged the General Assembly to estab- 
lish a Board of Agriculture, but the request was ignored by legislators who were con- 
cerned primarily with the oncoming war. 

In 1 868 the foundation for the establishment of the North Carolina Department of 
Agriculture was laid when North Carolinans approved the state constitution by popu- 
lar vote. The constitution provided: "There shall be established in the office of the 
Secretary of State a Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture, and Immigration under such 
regulations as the General Assembly may provide." But this agency did not provide 
for the real needs of agriculture, and thus failed to receive the favor of farmers who 
still demanded an independent department. 


Satisfaction came, however, in 1 875 when the Constitutional Convention amend- 
ed the provision to read: "The General Assembly shall establish a Department of 
Agriculture, Immigration, and Statistics under such regulations as may best promote 
the agricultural interests of the state and shall enact laws for the adequate protection 
and encouragement of sheep husbandry." 

In March, 1 877, a bill to establish such a department was introduced in the General 
Assembly and passed. 

The event was heralded by The Observer, March 1 1 , 1 877, as follows: "The Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. The bill to establish this department has become law. This we 
believe to be the only instance in the history of the state in which the farmers, as a 
body, have come before the legislature for aid and protection, and to the credit of the 
legislature it may be said that they promptly gave them all that was asked for, though 
not exactly in the shape proposed by them." 

The original law enacted by the General Assembly provided for a seven-member 
Board of Agriculture to supervise the department's activities. The board was to be 
composed of the Governor, ex-officio chairman; the State Geologist; the Master of 
the State Grange; the president of the State Agricultural Society; the president of the 
State University at Chapel Hill, and two agriculturists. One of the board's first tasks 
was to select a commissioner to act as administrative head of the department. 

Chosen was Colonel Leonidas LaFayette Polk of Anson County who had been a 
moving spirit in the establishment of the NCDA. Polk, an outstanding agricultural 
leader and spokesman, (and later founder of the Progressive Farmer) was an obvious 
choice. For a salary of $2,000 a year, Polk was charged to carry out the following 

Rice fields on the Orton Plantation in 1890. The 
mansion can be seen in the background. 


Washington Duke at his first tobacco factory in 
1820 in Durham. 

Royster Guano Company of Tarboro in 1895. 
Fertilizer use increased due to education and 
agricultural associations. 

duties: 1 ) to find a means of improving sheep husbandry and curb high mortality rates 
caused by dogs; 2) to seek the causes of diseases among domestic animals, to quaran- 
tine sick stock, and to regulate transportation of all animals; 3) to seek to check insect 
ravages; 4) to foster new crops suited to various soils of the state; 5) to collect statistics 
on fences in North Carolina, with the object of altering the system in use; 6) to work 
with the U.S. Fish Commission in the protection and propagation of fish; 7) to send 
a report to the General Assembly each session; 8) to seek cooperation of other states 
on such matters as obstruction of fish in interstate waters; and 9) to make rules regu- 
lating the sale of feeds and fertilizers. 

In addition, the Department of Agriculture was to establish a chemical laboratory 
at the University of North Carolina for testing fertilizers and to work with the Geolog- 
ical Survey in studying and analyzing the State's natural resources. 

The young department saw a number of changes in staff organization and Board of 
Agriculture representation. One of the most significant board changes occurred in 
1883 when members were first chosen from each congressional district to represent 
the state's major agricultural interests. The last "non-farmer" was removed from the 
board in 1889, when a board member, not the governor, became chairman. 

In 1 899, the legislature provided for election of a commissioner by the people of the 
state, not by the board. The first commissioner elected was Samuel L. Patterson of 
Caldwell County. Patterson had served earlier by board appointment. 


The first official home of the Department of Agriculture was the second story of the 
Briggs Building on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. With the office staff 
came the entire State Museum and Geological Survey. Other department employees 
were located at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Chapel Hill and in other office 
buildings in Raleigh. 

In 1881 the Board of Agriculture decided to bring all the divisions of the depart- 
ment together and bought the National Hotel property for $ 1 3,000. The hotel was on 
Edenton Street, the present site of the Agriculture Building. The building was later 
enlarged and remained the home of the department until 1 923 when the Edenton and 
Halifax streets parts of the building were torn down and the present neo-classic build- 
ing erected. A five-story annex was added to the main building in 1 954 to provide new 
quarters for the Natural History Museum and space for laboratories and offices. 


Fertilizer Analysis 

Much deception and fraud were being practiced in the sale of fertilizers at the time 
the department was established. Dr. Albert Ledoux, the Department of Agriculture's 
first chemist, said that of the 1 08 brands of fertilizer sold in North Carolina in 1 876, 
some were "miserable stuff, others down-right swindles." He reported that one brand 
had been found to contain as much as 60 percent sand. It was natural then that one 
of the first responsibilities of the newly created Department of Agriculture would be 
fertilizer inspection and analysis. 

The original law provided that there should be an annual privilege tax of $500 for 
each brand sold. For several years, this tax was the sole source of revenue for all the 
programs of the department. However, the privilege tax was later contested and the 
courts ruled it unconstitutional. In its place, an inspection fee was levied by the legis- 
lature of 1 89 1 , with the stipulation that the revenue could be used only to support the 
fertilizer control program. 

Experiment Station 

The actual analysis of fertilizers was to be carried out by the Experiment Station in 
Chapel Hill. In addition, the Experiment Station was directed to conduct experi- 
ments on the nutrition and growth of plants, to ascertain which fertilizers were best 
suited to the crops of the state and if other crops could be grown on its soils, and to 
conduct any other investigations the department might propose. 

Created in 1 877 by the same act that created the Department of Agriculture, the sta- 
tion was the first in the South and the second in the nation. 

The initial movement to set up field testing stations began in 1 885 when the Gener- 
al Assembly directed the Board of Agriculture to secure prices on lands and machine- 
ry. The board obtained 35 acres on the north side of Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, and 
the job of clearing land, laying out test plots, and constructing buildings began. 

The station was transferred from the NCDA to the newly created N.C. College of 
Agricultural and Mechanic Arts in 1889. The Hatch Act, which had provided funds 
of $15,000 to each state for agricultural research, had specified that the money be 


An 1890 view of the Agricultural 
and Mechanical College for the 
Colored Race in Greensboro is now 
the Agricultural and Technical 
State University. 

directed to the land grant college. In establishing the A&M College, the General 
Assembly had provided that the college would receive all land-grant benefits. 

While the Department of Agriculture maintained its association with the station, 
it shifted its effort to establishing test farms in various locations across the state. The 
purpose was to experiment with different crop-fertilizer-soil combinations to find the 
most suitable for certain locations. The first two research stations were in Edgecombe 
and Robeson counties. 

State Museum 

As a result of legislation of 1 85 1 , a State Geologist was appointed by the Governor 
to retain samples of the minerals of the State. This collection, known as the Cabinet 
of Minerals, was housed on the third floor of the capitol prior to the Civil War. It 
formed the nucleus of the State Museum. 

After the museum was transferred to the Department of Agriculture, the legislature 
expanded its responsibilities to include the illustration of North Carolina's agricul- 
tural and other resources and its natural history. 

Much of the department's time and interest in the early days was directed toward 
immigration. The goal was to encourage the settling of good citizens in the rural sec- 
tions of the state and to advertise to the world the advantages of the soil, natural 
resources, and climate of the state. The department staff produced a number of cred- 
itable exhibits of resources and products of the state in Vienna, 1873; Atlanta, 1881; 
Boston, 1883; New Orleans, 1884; Raleigh, 1884; Chicago, 1893; Paris, 1900-1907; 
Charleston, 1901; St. Louis, 1904; Boston, 1906; and Jamestown, 1907. Many of 
these exhibits became permanent displays in the State Museum. 

At the state exposition of 1884, counties 
displayed their industrial and agricultural 
progress. Tobacco dominated this Durham 
County exhibit. 


Among the original duties given to the department were "investigations relative to 
the ravages of insects." However, until the late 1 880s, department reports declared 
a "remarkable exemption of the crops of the State" from insect pests. 

The situation changed considerably around 1 900 when pests, such as the San Jose 
Scale in orchards, began to move in. The San Jose Scale was called the "worst enemy 
of the deciduous fruits." 

The department responded by hiring an entomologist to work in conjunction with 
the alredy existing Commission for the Control of Crop Pests. A program of inspec- 
tion was begun, including inspection of the state's nurseries. Nurseries found to have 
no pest problems were certified as pest free. 

Another task of the entomologist's office was the establishment of an insect collec- 
tion. The collection documented the specimens found in the state and served as a use- 
ful tool in identifying pests for the public. 

The office was often successful in prescribing remedies to combat pest problems as 
illustrated in this letter from a North Carolina apple grower: 

I had more matured apples than I have had in one season for the past ten years ... All trees sprayed 
are as green, (or) nearly as green, now (October 14, 1 90 1 ) as they were in summer ... I sprayed one 
side of a large fall apple tree. The side sprayed is green today, while the other side has no leaves. To 
be brief, all trees sprayed are full of leaves, while those not sprayed are destitute ... I am very well 
pleased with my spraying, and next year will spray again more thoroughly than I did the past spring. 
The honey and bee program began in 1916 with authority from the legislature to 
conduct investigations to promote the improvement of the honey bee industry and 
especially investigations relating to diseases of bees. 


An early view of the State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts in Raleigh, now known as North Carolina 
State University. 

Farmers Institutes 

In 1 887, the General Assembly had instructed the Board of Agriculture to "cooper- 
ate and aid in the formation of Farmers' Institutes in all the counties of the State." 
These institutes were an early attempt at educating the farmer in areas such as con- 
serving the nutrients of the soil, diversification of crops, and modern methods of 

To carry out the institutes, the board was to send the Commissioner of Agriculture 
and other agricultural representatives to every county in the state at least once every 
two years. 

In 1 906 the first institutes for women were begun, with the purpose of upgrading 
farm conditions and farm life. North Carolina was the first southern state to offer 
such a program for women. 

While the institutes that were held proved to be quite effective, the agricultural 
leaders who were charged to conduct them found it difficult to meet the heavy travel 
schedule. The most successful organization therefore developed from individuals on 
the local level who banded together to form ongoing educational programs. 

These institutes were the forerunners of the Agricultural Extension program in the 

N.C. College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts 

The N.C. College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts was an offspring of the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture. In 1 887 the board began seeking donations for the establishment 
of an industrial college and looking for sites. A 3'/2-acre lot in the northwest part of 
Raleigh was purchased for $2, 1 00. 

"Brad's Drink" created by Calab Bradham became "Pepsi- 
Cola." Bradham's assistant, R.F. Butler, stands in front of the 
pharmacy in New Bern where the soft drink was invented. 

Subsequently, R. Stanhope Pullen donated a sixty-acre site near a proposed park, 
and the gift was gratefully accepted. 

The college opened in 1889 with eighty-five students. All the funds for building, 
equipment, and maintenance were furnished by the board. 

In 1 892, the General Assembly separated the college from the Department of Agri- 
culture and made it a distinct corporation. 


Even though the original act establishing the Department of Agriculture called for 
animal health protection, it was 1898 before a State Veterinarian was appointed. 
Chosen for the position was Dr. Cooper Curtice of Columbia Veterinary College. Dr. 
Curtice launched an investigation of the cattle tick and was able to show that the tick 
was a carrier of Texas fever. 

Not only was this the first step toward eradication of the fever, but it was also the 
first time that anyone had proven that parasites are capable of transmitting disease 
in mammals. Curtice's work set the pattern for similar investigations into human dis- 

Another threat to livestock at the time the veterinary program was begun was hog 
cholera, which had first been reported in the state in 1859. By 1877, it was killing one 
out of every nine hogs each year, and many years were to pass before control efforts 
would be successful. 

In the early days, the State Veterinarian was not only concerned with animal pro- 
tection but also with promotion of livestock. The idea was that more livestock would 
improve soil fertility and better livestock would increast profit. Eventually this 
responsibility was given to a separate division in the department. 

In 1 925 the department was charged with the supervision of slaughtering and meat 
packing establishments in the state. This service was not compulsory at that time, but 
it did enable any establishiment that chose to use it, to sell anywhere within the state 
without further inspection by a city or town. 

Food Protection 

Under the first elected commissioner, Samuel L. Patterson, the department was 
given more regulatory duties. One of these was the administration of the Pure Food 
Law, passed by the General Assembly in 1 899. The purpose of this law was to prevent 
the adulteration and misbranding of food and drink for both humans and animals. 

G.G. Viverette of Halifax County brought his tobacco 
to a Rocky Mount warehouse in the state's first 
automobile-drawn trailer in 1913. 

North Carolina ranks number 2 nationally in cu- 
cumbers for pickling. 

The food program was placed under the Chemistry Division with B.W. Kilgore as 
State Chemist. In the beginning Dr. Kilgore sought to study existing conditions and 
to educate manufacturers so they could comply with the law. In 1 900 a survey across 
the state revealed that over 50 percent of all canned vegetables were adulterated with 
harmful preservatives. With the enforcement of the Pure Food Law, however, the 
percentage of adulteration decreased to 1 7 percent in four years. 

Cattle and stock feeds were also inspected and found to be of a low grade. A few 
even contained poisonous substances. The first analyses showed a large amount of 
worthless material used in the stock feeds as a filler. In reference to the success of the 
stock feed program, Commissioner Patterson said, "It has already worked beneficent 
results, for shameful frauds had been practiced upon our brute friends, who had no 
voice to protest against them." 

Gasoline and Oil Inspection 

The first laws relating to petroleum products were passed in 1903, at which time 
heating oil, "kerosene," was being used primarily for lighting. Some of this product 
contained such large amounts of sulphur that it was found to be a health hazard as well 
as causing deterioration of various fabrics and other materials. 

By 1 9 1 7 the department was also given the responsibility of enforcing the Gasoline 
Law. This law applied to gasoline and other liquids used for heating or power pur- 
poses. According to an official of the department at that time, the law was "enforced 
with considerable difficulty." At the time the program began, many companies were 
trying to sell low grades for the same price as higher grades. 

Seed Testing 

The testing of seeds for germination and purity actually began with the early work 
of the Experiment Station. However, it was 1 909 before a seed law was passed and a 
program established for seed analysis. 

To assist in the seed program, Miss O.I. Tillman, a seed specialist, was sent to 
Raleigh by the United States Department of Agriculture. Every firm selling seeds in 
the state was required to pay a license of $25.00 to defray the costs of inspection. The 
law specified which weed seeds could not be sold in seed mixtures. 

Of the first seed samples collected, 70 percent of the dealers were found to be han- 
dling seeds below state standards. By 1914 the test service had gained respect and 
farmers were voluntarily sending in their seeds for purity and germination tests. 

A guiding force in the operation of the seed laboratory was Miss Suzie D. Allen who 
was laboratory supervisor for forty years. During her tenure, the seed testing program 
was removed from the Division of Botany and became a separate division. 


The marketing service began in 1 9 1 3 as the "Division of Cooperative Marketing." 
Its early work involved compiling lists of dealers of farm products and finding mar- 
kets for North Carolina sweet potatoes, butter, and apples. A market news service was 
begun for cotton and cottonseed. 

A few years later the division begun putting much time into helping local farmers 
organize into cooperative marketing organizations. 

A very popular project of the Markets Division in the early 1 900s was the publica- 
tion of the Farmers' Market Bulletin, later called the Market News. This publication 
included articles on the marketing conditions of certain crops, as well as agricultural 
items for sale. 

By 1 924 Market News reported that the division had eight branches: livestock and 
poultry; fruits and vegetables; farm crops; statistical reports; market news service; 
rural organization; farm financing through cooperative banks; and a state warehouse 

Information Office 

The need for communication between the Department of Agriculture and the agri- 
cultural public it served was evident from the beginning. In 1 877, Commissioner Polk 
started a weekly farm paper called The Farmer and Mechanic. 

This paper eventually became independent and was replaced by The Bulletin of the 
North Carolina Department of Agriculture. The Biennial Report of 1891 referred to 
the Bulletin as "the mouthpiece of the Board which goes to the homes of the people." 
The first purpose of the Bulletin was to inform farmers of fertilizer analyses so they 
could judge their money value. 

Soon, however, the Bulletin expanded into all areas of agricultural production, and 
it became necessary to hire a bulletin superintendent. In 1914 an information office 


vas set up to coordinate a news service for the Department of Agriculture and the 
State Agricultural and Engineering College. This arrangement ended in 1925 when 
;he agricultural extension service, which had been a joint program of the department 
ind the college, was moved entirely to the college. 

In that same year the Publications Division began to publish the Agricultural 
Review a semi-monthly paper which is still serving farmers and agri-business interests 

State Warehouse System 

At the beginning of World War I, cotton was difficult to sell and could not be used 
as collateral for borrowing. There were few warehouses to store it in until market 
prices improved. The limited number that did exist were in large cities and inaccessi- 
ble to most farmers. 

To protect the financial interests of cotton growers, the legislature of 1 9 1 9 passed 
a law creating a state warehouse system. The system established a guarantee fund so 
that a warehouse receipt would be universally accepted as collateral. 

The Warehouse Act was later amended to benefit other commodities including 
grain and sweet potatoes. 

Currently, warehouses operate under the federal system. 

Hand-tied leaf is sold at a 1926 tobacco auction in Wilson. 

Crop Statistics 

Even though the original title of the department included "statistics," the intent 
was mainly to collect statistics relating to farm fences. Commissioner Polk did try 
sending forms to farmers, asking them to list their taxable assets and their crop pro- 
duction, but most forms were never returned and the few that came in were incom- 

By 1 887, it was apparent to Commissioner John Robinson that a statistical service 
was needed. In the Biennial Report he wrote: 
"The means of acquiring statistical information are very inadequate. Such infor- 
mation is one of the necessities of the times. There are frequent calls upon this 
office for such statistics, the applicants thinking that we had the information for 
distribution, and they were warranted in expecting to find correct information 
in regard to agricultural products in this office." 

In 1916, Frank Parker, a representative of the Federal Crop Reporting Service 
began statistical work in cooperation with the State Department of Agriculture. 

Three years later he moved his office to the Agriculture Building and became the 
director of the Agricultural Statistics Division. 

The Farm Census was begun on a voluntary basis in 1 9 1 8 and became law in 1 92 1 . 

Home cooking the North Carolina staple, pork 
barbecue! The on-farm value of the hog business is 
$438 million. 

Small grains are an economic necessity to North Car- 


A home economics class in the early 
days of the discipline. 

Dairy Products 

Because the wholesomeness of dairy products was of vital importance to each citi- 
zen of the state, a law was passed in 1921 giving the Department of Agriculture 
authority to inspect dairy products and plants. The Food and Oil Division was desig- 
nated to carry out this law by checking plants for sanitation and products for purity. 
The division was also made responsible for checking the butterfat tests used in the 
purchase of milk and cream from producers by creameries and factories. 

Between 1928 and 1930, a separate dairy division was created to assume these 
activities. It was 1 947, however, before the division gained the real authority it need- 
ed to provide stability to the dairy industry and to insure a wholesome milk supply 
for consumers. In that year, the Board of Agriculture adopted statewide standards for 
milk and other dairy products. This was an important step in eliminating local trade 
barriers and making production and processing more uniform. 

Wheat threshing and hay baling 
on the Fred Oliver farm near 
Charlotte. The combine under 
the shed did both chores. 

Weight and Measures Inspection 

The department's involvement with the inspection of weighing and measuring 
devices began with the enactment of the Uniform Weights and Measures Law in 
1927. It was felt at that time that the regulations of weights and measures should be 
directly under an elected official. The 1 927 law provided that the inspection program 
be funded by fees collected from those inspected, but opposition led to an amendment 
in 1931 that provided for the inspection work to be supported by an appropriation 
from the General Assembly. The change made it possible to conduct inspections 
more than once a year, in order to more efficiently eliminate fraudulent practices. 

Among the early responsibilities of this division were the approval of all weighing 
and measuring devices as to type and operation before they could be distributed for 
use; regulation of the sale of ice; regulation of the sale and distribution of coal, coke, 
and charcoal; insuring that all scales were placed in plain view of the customer, and 

If you believe you've seen everything, take a look at the pig races at the North Carolina State Robin Watson, an NCDA regional agronomist, 
Fair. pulls a soil sample for free nutrient need testing. 

N.C. State Fair 

The first State Fair, held in November, 1853, was sponsored by the State Agricul- 
tural Society. The site was about 1 blocks east of the Capitol in Raleigh. In 1873 the 
fair was moved to a 53-acre lot on Hillsboro Road, near the present Raleigh Little 
Theatre. The Society poured approximately $50,000 into the development of the 

In all, the Agricultural Society sponsored the State Fair for 73 years, with interrup- 
tions during the Civil War and Reconstruction period. Among the most famous 
guests of the fair during the Society's sponsorship were Theodore Roosevelt in 1 905 
and William Jennings Bryan in 1907. 

By 1 924, the Society asked for aid from the State and the City of Raleigh. A State 
Fair Board was appointed, and in a few years the fair was moved to its present site on 
the west side of Raleigh. 

In 1 930 the State Fair was first placed under the Department's administration. For 
a few years the department leased out the operation commercially, but in 1937, Com- 
missioner Kerr Scott decided that the management should be directly under the 
department. Dr. J.S. Dorton was chosen as manager, and the fair first began to show 

Soil Testing 

The Department of Agriculture demonstrated an interest in soils from its earliest 
years. Much of the soil work was conducted by the office of the State Chemist. This 
office worked with the United States Bureau of Soils in surveying the soils of each 
county and collecting samples for analysis. In addition to chemical analysis, the office 
set up plot tests on each important soil type in the state. These plots demonstrated to 
the people of the state the benefits of various types of fertilizers and crop rotation. 


It was 1 938, however, before the General Assembly passed a law establishing a Soil 
Testing Division in the department. This division was set up to accept soil samples 
from growers and homeowners across the state for analysis and to furnish them with 
information on their fertilizer needs. Much time had to be spent in educating the pub- 
lic on the availability of the service. In the first fiscal year, 70,000 different tests were 
made on approximately 6,500 soil samples. 

Food Distribution 

Modem tobacco cultivation. 

In 1944, the department began a cooperative effort with the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture to receive and distribute surplus agricultural commodities. Such com- 
modities as evaporated milk, potatoes, beets, eggs, and grapefruit juice were sent to 
public schools for supplementing meals. Not only did the school benefit by being able 
to serve low cost meals, but the program helped hold agricultural prices at or above 
levels acceptable to producers. 

In a few years, the distribution of the products was expanded to other recipients 
such as camps, child care centers, and charitable institutions. 


In the 1 940s, pesticides began to appear in large numbers and in broader effective- 
ness. Added to the agricultural insecticides and fungicides already on the market were 
various weed and grass poisons, defoliating chemicals, chemicals to control the pre- 
mature falling of fruits, and new and more powerful insect and rodent poisons. It was 
obvious that these products needed special attention to assure reasonable effective- 
ness, safety, and fair-dealing. 

The General Assembly responded to these needs by passing the Insecticide, Fungi- 
cide, and Rodenticide Act of 1947. Under this law, the Department of Agriculture 
was charged with the registration of all pesticide brands to prevent misbranding and 
adulteration. Examinations were made of pesticide labels to insure that the percent- 
age of each active ingredient and total inert matter were indicated and that other label 
statements were acceptable. 

In 1953 the department began licensing contractors and pilots for the aerial appli- 
cation of pesticides. 

Structural Pest Control 

Public concern for the unethical practices of some structural pest control operators 
in the state led to the enactment of the N.C. Structural Pest Control Law by the 1 955 
General Assembly. The intention of the law was to protect consumers and the pest 

(Above) A hand planter eliminates much of tobacco's 

backbreaking work. 

(Right) First cotton mill in North Carolina, built by Michael 

Schency in 1813 in Lincolnton. 

TOA' !M| 

1.1. IN /VOKTH ' 



control industry since the fraudulent practices of a few operators could reflect harm- 
fully on the many honest operators in business. 

The law created a policy-making board called the Structural Pest Control Commis- 
sion and gave the Department of Agriculture responsibility for the inspection of the 
work of structural pest control operations. 

In 1967 the law was revised, abolishing the commission and creating a Structural 
Pest Control Division in the department with the responsibility of administering the 
law under the Commissioner of Agriculture. A structural pest control committee was 
set up to make necessary rules and regulations and to hold hearings relating to viola- 
tors of the law. 

State Farmers Market 

Prior to 1955, fruit and vegetable dealers were scattered all across Raleigh. To 
improve this situation, a large market facility was established on a 1 8.5-acre site near 
U.S. 1 in Raleigh. The market, which was at that time privately owned, provided 
room for both individual farmers and wholesalers. 

In 1958, the farmers' portion of the market was taken over by the Department of 
Agriculture, State College, and the Department of Conservation and Development. 
In 1961, the NCDA purchased the facility to be run as a state market. 

Within the first year, the market was operating entirely on its own receipts and had 
paid the first annual installment on the purchase price, as well as paying for extensive 
repairs and some additions. 

The market, located at a central point between the mountains and the coast, prom- 
ised farmers a profitable outlet for their produce and consumers fresh produce year 

State Farms 

Until 1 974 a number of farms were owned and operated by the departments of 
Human Resources and Correction. The legislature then transferred the farm lands to 
the Department of Agriculture for operation until the best use of the land could be 

The purpose of the farms is twofold: to provide a good supply of food, economically 
produced, for residents of institutions and to provide facilities and animals for 
research conducted by North Carolina State University. 

There are currently five large farms and seven small farms. Most of the food pro- . . _ . , _ ... 

duced goes to state mental health centers. J " mes A Graham North Carolina s present 

° Commissioner oj Agriculture. 


During its first 100 years of service, the Department of Agriculture has continued 
to add new services and to improve and expand existing ones. Major program changes 
include the following: 

When the Experiment Station was moved to N.C. State University, the department 
began to refer to the outlying test stations as research stations. Today there are fifteen 
agricultural research stations in the state, covering nearly every climate, soil, and pop- 
ulation center important to North Carolina farming. The stations are a cooperative 
effort on the part of the N.C. Department of Agriculture, the N.C. Experiment Station 
at N.C. State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

The NCDA owns nine stations and provides administrative support. The other six 
stations are owned by the Experiment Station, which provides project leaders to con- 
duct research. The USDA supplies some funds and project leaders. 

The Museum of Natural History has increased its service to the public and to the 
scientific community, not only through new and updated exhibits, but also with more 
intensive work in research and education. An additional responsibility is the admin- 
istration of the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. 

The Markets Division has expanded its advisory services to provide assistance in 
areas such as harvesting, handling, sorting, packing, storing, transporting and pricing 
of products. The division is constantly seeking new markets, both domestic and for- 
eign, for the state's farm products. In addition, the division is the only authorized 
agency in the state for reporting official market price information and for determin- 
ing and certifying the official grade on farm products. 

Three farmers' markets operated by the NCDA in Raleigh, Asheville and Charlotte 
offer customers fresh produce direct from farmers and warehouse space for food 
wholesalers. Promotion plays a leading role in marketing. Two major programs are 
Flavors of Carolina, a nationwide activity that lets buyers "taste-test" North Carolina 
food products, and Goodness Grows in North Carolina, a method by which Tar Heel 
food products are identified for consumers. 



What goes around, comes around. True of wind 
power in 1890 and 99 years later. This windmill was 

at Beaufort. 


German, Dutch, Polish, Russian and Italian farmers 
establish themselves at Castle Hayne, Van Eden, St. 
Helena and Terra Ceia from 1914 to 1920. Hard 
work and grape production were part of the European 


The Animal Health Division has been authorized to inspect livestock markets to 
see that animals have received proper tests and vaccinations and to insure that sick 
animals are not offered for sale. Nine animal disease diagnostic laboratories have 
been set up across the state to serve farmers, practicing veterinarians, animal health 
personnel, and pet owners. In addition, the inspection of meat and poultry facilities 
has been made compulsory. The department inspects all plants that ship within the 
state and performs some inspections for interstate shipment under a cooperative 
arrangement with the federal government. 

The department has continued to monitor the manufacture of animal feeds and pet 
foods, with greater emphasis in recent years being put on those products to which 
drugs have been added. Forage feeds are also tested for nutrition. 

The seed testing program has become nationally recognized for its interest in 
refined germination techniques and for its field staff of inspectors trained for field 
analysis. The laboratory tests more samples and more kinds of seeds than most labo- 
ratories in the nation. 

Endophyte testing is employed to protect livestock from the fungus that causes sev- 
eral problems including tail rot and abortion. Fertilizers are tested to detect contami- 
nation that could injure plants. Sewage sludge and animal wastes are also tested for 
nutrient content and contaminants. 

The services of the soil testing laboratory have been expanded to include plant anal- 
ysis and nematode testing. These three services now compose the Agronomic Services 
Division. In addition to providing these three services to all the citizens of North Car- 
olina, the division carries out methodology research and educational programs. Pos- 
sible groundwater contamination has gotten the attention of the NCDA. In concert 
with the state departments of Natural Resources and Community Development and 
Health Services, the three agencies are exploring a testing program. 

Broader responsibility in controlling pesticides was given to the department under 
the Pesticide Law of 1971. The NCDA licenses pesticide applicators, dealers, and 
consultants and makes inspections and takes samples at all levels of pesticide produc- 
tion, sales and use. The 1971 law also provided for a seven-member Pesticide Board 
which acts as a policy-making body. 

From the initiation of the entomology program, the duties and responsibilities of 
the department have expanded to include the total area of plant protection. Programs 
dealing with insects, diseases, and weeds have become more sophisticated and 
encompass such tools as integrating pest management and biological agents for the 
control of pests. Such agents include insect parasites which are reared at the pest con- 
trol laboratory for release on other pest insects. The NCDA is currently developing 
regulations for biochemical use. 

The Rural Rehabilitation Corporation was transferred to the NCDA in 1971. The 
corporation finances rural undertakings and enterprises through low interest loans. 

The department has also been designated to collect and hold assessments for agri- 
cultural promotional organizations and foundations. 

As a result of the internal reorganization of the Department of Agriculture in 1 972, 
three administrative offices were established: Agribusiness, Fiscal Management, and 
Consumer Services. With two exceptions, all department programs were placed 
under these offices. The exceptions include the Office of Public Affairs, which pro- 
vides informational services for all programs, and the Environmental Affairs Office 
which was added in 1974. 

The State Board of Agriculture is still the policy-making body of the department. 
The board adopts regulations under the powers conferred upon it by the General 
Assembly. There are ten members of the board, with the Commissioner of Agricul- 
ture serving as ex-officio chairman. 


Change was rapid following the establishment of the North Carolina Department 
of Agriculture. The industrial revolution was underway and that put a new slant on 

Mechanization was encouraged though the real effect of it would not be realized 
until after the turn of the century. 

Action in agriculture might well have been the slogan for the late 1 9th Century. The 
dual emergence of the NCDA and what is now North Carolina State University were 
probably the most remarkable events that have ever happened in North Carolina 
farming. Both were mandates of the Legislature. 

When the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts opened in 
1 899, agriculture had little scientific background. But as that background developed, 
and the NCDA and the college (now N.C. State University) evolved, the two agencies 
began to duplicate activities. To avoid doing the same job, they agreed on March 10, 
1911 to cooperate. 


The Commissioner of Agriculture and the president of the college along with their 
respective committees passed a resolution that said: "All the scientific experimental 
work of the two institutions will hereafter be consolidated with one experiment sta- 
tion, under a director and a vice director, and with the director's office at the Col- 
lege." The General Assembly made it law. 

Evolution of the two agencies continued with consolidations of responsibilities. 
Some went to the NCSU and some to the NCDA. Education and extension went to 
the (now) university. Marketing came to be the job of the department of agriculture, 
along with the other duties mentioned earlier. Today, the two institutions jointly 
operate agricultural research and cooperate in many other areas even though their 
charges are clearly defined. 

Home plate had been put in place. Agriculture in North Carolina had a base; gov- 
ernmental and educational. But who would have predicted in those days the enor- 
mous impact the dual institutions would have on the economy in the coming century. 

The Civil War was over and with it the abolition of slavery. These two events 
brought on radical economic change throughout the Confederacy and North Carolina 
was no exception. An almost feudal system of tenant farming arose to fill the labor 
vacuum; a system that remained well into the 20th Century. 


Large landholders provided acreage and dwellings for tenants who farmed on 
shares with their landlords. As time went on, however, many of the tenants were able 
to buy their own farms and a new system of small farms developed. During this period 
between the war and 1 900, remarkable breakthroughs in technology, such as electric 
lights, the telephone and the automobile were signaling even more radical change. 

Horseless carriages as they were called probably had the most immediate effect on 
agriculture. Many an engineer of the day saw its first cousin, the tractor, doing the 
work of animals. But it was a little slower era and things took time. 

Tractors began to show up in the early 1 900s. They were largely experimental, driv- 
en by both steam and internal combustion engines. Obviously, only the well-to-do 
farmers could afford such luxury and many of them were skeptical. But during the 
1920s the iron-wheeled monsters could be seen once in a while. 

Still, animal power, particularly the mule, was the farm machine well into the 
1950s. No doubt, the Depression of the 1930s and World War II threw a body block 
on farm technology yet that same war gave agriculture a quantum leap when it ended. 
From it emerged chemicals, tools, machines, and buildings in shapes, sizes and ability 
undreamed of. Even better, they were available and affordable. The post-war boom 
had not bypassed rural North Carolina. 

Even as the war had held up civilian progress temporarily, the Great Depression 
had a similar effect on the economy. Following the years of 1 94 1 through 1 945, pro- 
duction capacity in all areas burst upon the nation like a ruptured dam. During the 
depression, forces were set in motion that would play possibly an even greater role in 
agriculture. Those forces were called federal farm programs. 


The three affecting North Carolina the most were tobacco, peanuts and cotton. 
During the New Deal era, President Franklin D. Roosevelt realized that supply was 
killing demand for certain farm commodities. Tobacco, peanuts and cotton were 
mainstays, yet over production was price-killing. As a result, acreage allotments were 
granted to producers. In the 1 960s these allotments were modified to include pound- 
age restrictions. 

For North Carolina, it turned an economic corner unequaled. Farmers began to 
show a profit and the tobacco and peanut programs became the most successful farm 
programs before or since. 

King cotton began a decline in the state in the 1 950s and tobacco became the new 
king. Tobacco farmers became so good at their work that it was necessary in 1 964 to 
put poundage restrictions on production. It was about this time that the surgeon gen- 
eral decided cigarette smoking was harmful to health. In the following years, the 
debate on the health question raged and cigarette consumption did decline. Still, in 
the mid 1 970s, farmers grossed $ 1 billion from the leaf. Tobacco remains the leading 
field crop and North Carolina leads the nation in its production. 

Cotton, though down, was not out and with the advent of the federal-state and far- 
mer boll weevil eradication program, North Carolina is a ranking cotton producer. 

Peanuts are another high and reliable source of farm income with an annual farm 
gross of $ 13 1 million. The state ranks fourth in peanut production. 

Garrett and Company winery in Halifax County, out 
of business because prohibition in North Carolina 
became law in 1908. 

Mountain beef cattle as they used to be. 


State Agriculture building as it appeared in the mid- 


Tar Heel cornucopia. 


Other boomers for the later half of the 20th Century are livestock and poultry. Poul- 
try is another $ 1 billion industry with livestock approaching three-quarters of a bil- 
lion dollars. 


Crop listings for Tarheelia go on and on to the extent North Carolina is the third 
most diversified agricultural state in the union. It leads the other 49 in flue-cured 
tobacco, total tobacco (includes burley), turkeys and sweet potatoes. It is second in 
cucumbers for pickles, third in burley tobacco and poultry. Peanuts rank fourth; hogs, 
eighth and corn, soybeans and small grains are big crops. 

Colonial times saw fruits and vegetables as big crops with no markets. They are still 
big crops but now there are markets. In fact, aggressive marketing by the NCDA in 
cooperation with commodity groups, farmers, food dealers, NCSU and various state 
and federal agencies have given North Carolina agriculture unprecedented outlets 
nationally and internationally for virtually all of its produce. 

Agribusiness has equally prospered in North Carolina. Production, processing, 
packaging and marketing companies have flourished. Many are based here. These 
include livestock, poultry, grain, tobacco, vegetable, seafood and winemaking firms. 
The list is expected to grow as the result of demonstrated success. 

Of course, all was not without planned effort and some setback. Little more than 
100 years ago, Colonel Leonidas LaFayette Polk set the stage and James Allen Gra- 
ham, the present commissioner of agriculture had added a few acts of his own. When 
he took office in 1 964, farm profit, crop diversification, marketing, animal health and 
plant health took center stage. Farm profit depended on the latter four. Hog cholera 
would soon become a major problem in the 1970s but Jim Graham, his veterinary 
staff, the state swine industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture teamed and 
defeated it. The state is now hog cholera-free. Brucellosis and TB in cattle got similar 
treatment. During his administration, the poultry industry has been virtually free of 
serious disease and he is now waging war on swine pseudorabies. 

Departmental marketing programs have moved from doing the job to looking for 
jobs to do. In the last few years, NCDA marketing specialists have become product- 
wise to every commodity grown, packaged or processed in the state. No farm item is 
too small or too large to receive the attention of the marketing division. 

Experts in foreign and domestic trade focus on livestock to asparagus along with 
grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry, fiber and tobacco. Commodities are sold by placing 
buyer and seller together through trade shows, foreign sales trips, domestic promo- 
tions, taste-test receptions and direct contracts. 

Two of the more recent programs are "Flavors of Carolina," buyer-seller meetings 
held across the U.S., and "Goodness Grows in North Carolina," an official designa- 
tion of North Carolina agricultural products. 

The system works to the tune of export sales at $ 1 billion a year and a state agricul- 
tural industry worth up to $ 16 billion from farm to dinner table. 

Diversification played only a minor role in the state's farm scene during most of the 
20th century, but in the last 20 years, it has received top billing. Seafood, including 
catfish, trout, bass, eel, crawfish and shellfish farming are on or are nearly on the 
menu. Other new or experimental crops are Christmas trees, ginseng, ornamentals, 
sunflowers, kenaf, herbs, grapes and exotic animals. 

These crops and others on the drawing board keep marketing viable. They also 
require the support troops of the NCDA's other divisions, NCSU, the USDA, agribu- 
siness and the all-important farmers. Success and continued success is almost assured 
because of cooperation by these agencies. 

It must be understood that North Carolina is not a one-crop state. Often the charge 
is leveled that tobacco is the alpha and omega of Tar Heel agriculture. That is not so. 
Tobacco is the largest crop but of the $4 billion gross farm income, three-fourths of 
that comes from virtually everything but tobacco. The gap should continue to widen 
as more new crops are introduced and markets increase for existing commodities. 

Beginning at any point in the history of North Carolina's 2,500 year civilization, it 
would be impossible to ignore agriculture. Granted, the 01' North State has made 
uncountable contributions to uncountable disciplines, professions, trades and arts. 
All civilizations begin with agriculture but with many, it moves way down the list eco- 
nomically. Yet, agriculture through all time, has remained North Carolina's number 
one industry. By taking care of man's primal need, food, all else became possible. 

Two thousand five-hundred years ago civilization began in what is now North Car- 
olina. That was the day the gatherers became growers. That was the day the Indian put 
down literal and figurative roots making one place his home. Five hundred years later 
foreigners from the east dug in with an agrarian economy ... an economy that remains 
the bedrock industry of North Carolina today. 




Farmer's Alliance 




ail/ance tub Ann a 




Seaboard, Northampton Co., N. C. 


Century Farm Owners 


Century Farm Owners 


James Phillip Aldridge 
George C. Allen 

Emma B. Allen 
C.K. Bailey 
Howard T. Braxton 
Bobby E. Coggins 
Mr. Ray Coon 

Mrs. Ray Coon 
William F. Covington 
Mrs. Jesse J. Danieley 
Lucy Sharpe Davis 
Edward Kerr Freshwater 
Robert W. Gibson, Jr. 
Koy C. Ingle 
Grover Russell Isley 
Ralph K. Isley 
Mr. James P. McPherson 

Mrs. James P. McPherson 
Howard A. Pickett 
George O. Rogers, Jr. 
Earl M. Sartin, Jr. 
Grover C. Shaw 
George N. Zachary, Jr. 


Atwell Alexander 
Albert Hubbard 

Rowena Hubbard 
J. Woodrow Payne 
Coy Reese 
Dale Reese 
Mrs. Lelia T. Wagner 
Helen M. Wike 
Walter D. Doughton 
Philip Martell 

James Martell 
Elizabeth M. Moxley 


Bertha Carpenter 

Mary Elizabeth Carpenter 

Nancy I. Landen 
T.J. Ingram, Jr. 
Elizabeth I. Little (heirs) 
Cecil F. Steagall 
Marvin L. Tyson 

Annie L. Tyson 


G. Earl Blevins 
Virgle Brown 

Lorene Brown 
Clyde Cox 
Mary Sue D'Alcamo 
Sara S. Fisher 
James Gwyn Gambill 
Elizabeth R. Graybeal 
Linda G. Hahn 
Alfred B. Hurt, Jr. 
Bruce Miller 
Robert J. Osborne 
Clara D. Perkins 
Joseph Phipps 

Katherine Phipps 
Mrs. Eleanor B. Reeves 
J. Breece Spencer 
Martin Sturgill 

Wilma Sturgill 
John E. Woodie 


William W. Avery 
Jason P. Hughes 


Jane Latham Dilday 
LP. Hodges 
R.R. Leggett, Sr. 
Ada L. Mizell 
Arthur S. Perkins 


Snow Camp 
Snow Camp 

Haw River 
Snow Camp 
Snow Camp 

Snow Camp 

Stony Point 


Marinette, WI 
Laurel Springs 




Laurel Springs 
Grassy Creek 
Laurel Springs 
West Jefferson 
West Jefferson 
West Jefferson 

West Jefferson 










Joseph E. Ratcliff 
Timothy Sanderson 
Alice Sanderson 


Mrs. Mary E. Barnes 
Joseph M. Browne, III 

Johnna R. Browne 
Lindsey Chamblee 

Lula Mae Chamblee 

Olga Butler 

Wm. Hoggard 
Melvin R. Cobb, Sr. 
Robert Holley 

Sallie Holley 
Cecil S. Holloman, Sr. 
Mac W. Lawrence 
Edwin M. Parker 
Mrs. Harold R. Sessoms 


Ottis Lee Cain 
Thelma Cromartie 
Sophia K. Floyd 

Eugene R. Floyd, Sr. 
Mrs. John F. Freeman 
Jabe T. Frink 
William L. Frink 
Fleta L. Harrelson 
Ida Irvine 

Edna Robeson 
W.H. Taft McCall 

Dorothy Burney 
Rose G. McDougald 
F.D. McLean (heirs) 
Robert F. Melvin 
Mary B. Odom 

James M. Gibson 

Annie R. Parker 

Margaret G. Watts 
Nellie Ray Parker 
Mr. Henry Layton Ross 

Mrs. Henry Layton Ross 
Albert Roy Shaw 
Issac W. Singletary 

Sarah K. Singletary 
Julius M. Suggs 


Glenn E. Carpenter, Jr. 
Edwin S. Clemmons 
T.J. Gilbert 


Carter F. Brown 
Thomas William Cochran 
Craig MacKenzie Coggins 
Jesse L. Israel, Jr. 
F.M. Miller 
Clyde Parker 

Sandra Parker 
Irene E. Peeke 

M. Catherine Peeke 


Vernon Guy Huffman 
Ivey E. Lowman 
Norman E. Lowman 
James H. Martin 
David McGimsey 

Margaret E. McGimsey 
Robert B. Sisk 
Albert G. Wilson 


George Barnhardt 

Margie Barnhardt 
Eugene W. Cochrane, Sr. 
J. Vigil Hahn 
W. Reid Honeycutt 
Amanda K. Miller 
Mrs. J.F. Moose 




Merry Hil 



Tar Heel 



Lake Waccamaw 








Black Mountain 


Connelly Springs 





Connelly Springs 

Mt. Pleasant 

Mt. Pleasant 
Gold Hill 
Mt. Pleasant 


Century Farm Owners 

Willard Moose 
Annie W. Peninger 
Carl D. Pless, Sr. 
George L. Pless 
Wade H. Ritchie, Jr. 
Edith Walker 
Sarah E. Walker 


Brenda Swanson Bartles 
Mrs. Ruby Carlton 
Margaret Carter-Minton 
Margaret S. Dabrowski 
Mrs. Hill C. Lackey 
Ray C. Starnes 
Howard Teague 

Mary Teague 
Lois S. Whisenant 
Rick Winkler 

Amanda Winkler 


Albertson Farms, Inc. 
H.C. Ferebee III 

John E. Ferebee 
H.T. Mullen, Jr. 
Rebecca M. Tarkington 
Sarah T. Walston 
Charles B. Williams 
Mrs. Rebecca Williams 


Archie R. Hardesty 
Leslie D. Springle, Jr. 


Ralph Aldridge 
Lillie H. Allred 
Bessie M. Bradsher 
Novella Earp 
S.N. Rice 

Spencer T. Richmond 
Otis F. Saunders 
Charles Franklin Smith 
W. Osmond Smith, Jr. 
Mr. Edwin Thompson 

Mrs. Edwin Thompson 
William McNeill Turner 


Louie D. Baker 

Alma H. Baker 
Elizabeth Burnette 
John K. Cline 
Thomas W. Danner, Sr. 
Samuel Eckard, Sr. 
John Lewis Hewitt, Sr. 
Earl H. Moose 
Howard B. Reinhardt 
Dalthard L. Sigmon 
Oliver D. Smiih 
Thomas W. Warlick 

Martha W. Brame 


Betty Jo Amick 
Walter M. Atwater 
Paul G. Bright 
Walter R. Clark 
Tommy Elkins 
Louise Ellis 
John S. Glosson 
Norman A. Jordan 
T.C. Justice, Sr. 
Louis C. Kidd 
C.W. Lutterloh 
J. Lamont Norwood 
Alfred O'Daniel 
Barbara T. Proffitt 
Gene F. Sears 
Grady O. Vestal 
Catherine E. Vestal 

Mt. Pleasant 

Mt. Pleasant 










Granite Falls 


Granite Falls 
Granite Falls 

South Mills 

Elizabeth City 
Chester, VA 

Elizabeth City 



Elon College 





Elon College 





Rural Hall 












Chapel Hill 






Siler City 





Chapel Hill 

Siler City 


Siler City 

J.G. Williams 
A.R. Wilson 

Cecil Wilson 

Juanita Clegg 
Burdine Womble 
Mrs. Obelia S. Womble 


Mrs. Cleva Anderson 
Meb Sudderth Hendrix 
Paul A. Ledford 
Annie S. McGuire 
Ralph Sudderth 
Jerry T. Sudderth 


Ira Hollowell Eure 
W.P. Jones 
Elizabeth S. Taylor 
A.D. Ward, Jr. 
Florence W. Webb 
T. Benbury H. Wood 


Richard E. Bristol 


David E. Beam 

Ruth S. Beam 
Ashbury C. Harrelson 
John W. Harris 

Macie R. Harris 
Edith Lutz 

Everett Lutz 
Ima C. Seagle 
Billy Wilson 


Sarah Blackwell 
Jack B. Blake 
John M.M. Blake 
John W. Blake 
John M.M. Blake, Jr. 
Keith Blake 
Thelma Blake 

Mrs. Gladys McLean Cumbee 
Edna Worley Jolly 
Charles L. Lennon, Sr. 
Mary W. Mintz 
Annie Newsome 

Marie Council 
Lillian Peterson 
Manly E. Porter 
Clara W. Price 
Winifred P. Stout 
John L. Woolard 

Mary D. Woolard 
Alfred J. Worley 
Ottis R. Wright 

Olive Battle Wright 
Jack M. Yates 
Robert A. Yates 
Lois W. Yoder 


Peggy Fulcher 
James A. Ipock, Jr. 
J. P. Ipock, Jr. 
Charles M. McCoy 
Scott Woodrow McCoy 
Gene Ormond 

Georgia Ormond 
Graham Richardson 
O.G. Richardson 
Parnell West 
James B. Whitley, Sr. 
Joe D. Williams 


Gene Sterling Ammons 
Evelyn B. Bullard 


Siler City 
New Hill 


















Cerro Gordo 








Tabor City 









Cerro Gordo 
Tabor City 


New Bern 
New Bern 
Cove City 
Cove City 

New Bern 
New Bern 
Cove City 
New Bern 


Century Farm Owners 

Troy A. Fisher, Sr. 
Olive M. Glock 
Walter L. Underwood 


James H. Ferebee, Sr. 

James H. Ferebee, Jr. 
W.W. Jarvis, Jr. 
Roy Franklin Sumrell 
Mrs. Mary E. Sumrell 
Manly M. West 
Hilery T. Whitehurst 

Sarah F. Whitehurst 


Howard Kent Beck 
Ralph G. Beckerdite, Sr. 
Mrs. Albert M. Cole 
Paul A. Cole 
James Reece Crouse 
John L. Delapp 
Noah Edgar Garner 
Johnnie Griggs, Sr. 

Florence Griggs 
Ewa Hanes 

Travis Hanes 
Ronnie S. Harrison 
Hoy L. Long 
Mrs. Elva H. Miller 
Frankie J. Miller 
Conrad F. Motsinger 
Robert F. Motsinger 
Robert L. Nance 
Fred W. Perryman 
Mrs. Ralph Riffle 
John E. Sink 
Jimmie B. Sink 
David Lee Smith, Jr. 
W.L. Smith, Jr. 
Frank Ward (Estate) 
Mildred Warfford 

Jeffrey Warfford 
Calla H. Welborn 

Betty B. Welborn 
Jack C. Wood 
Bruce Wright 

Sarilla Wright 


H.F. Blackwelder, Jr. 
E.F. Etchison 
Marshall E. Glasscock 
Veola S. Miller 
J. Vernon Miller 
L. Gene Miller 
James L. Ratledge 

Bettie R. Rix 
Margaret Rich 
William M. Seaford 

Pauline B. Seaford 
Donald H. Smith 
E.C. Tatum, Jr. 
Charles W. Woodruff 


Kilpatrick Farms, Inc. 
Mordicai R. Bennett 
Mrs. Robert Blackmore 
Theodore C. Bland 
Stephen D. Boone 
David O. Byrd, Sr. 
Mrs. H.C. Carr 
Thomas A. Cavenaugh 
Florence S. Currie 
Patricia J. Denise 
Kathleen Brice Fisler 
Nina M. Garner 
Erma W. Glover 
Walter V. Gresham 
Rosalyle B. Hall 
Alvin E. James 
James Oliver Loftin III 
Charles B. Marshburn 

Hope Mills 


Knotts Island 


























Virginia Beach, VA 

Charleston, SC 




Mt. Olive 



Rose Hill 

Rose hill 






Mt. Olive 

Chapel Hill 


Rose Hill 


Roanoke, VA 


Adelle T. Matthews 
Silas James Maxwell 

Emileigh Maxwell Latham 
Eugene R. Outlaw 
H.C. Powers 
Horace Rhodes 

Mary L. Rhodes 
Troy P. Rhodes 
Arline C. Rhodes 
DeLeon Smith, Jr. 
James W. Stroud 
Ruth B. Waller and children 
Stephen D. Williams 
Kermit P. Williams 
Leonidas P. Williams, Jr. 

Ruth W. Alford 

Margaret W. Norfleet 


Mary M. Husketh Coley 
Edna S. Page 
Beulah S. Simko 
Leland Wheeler 

Mary Wheeler 

Stephen Wheeler 


Simmons Farms, Inc. 
George Thomas Bottoms, Jr. 
Carl V. Brake 
Dorothy L. Braswell 

Douglas W. Braswell 
Mrs. H. Mayo Cherry 
Willis Cobb 
Lucy L. Cobb 
Mary Daughtridge 

Vivian Viverette 

Paul Whitley, Jr. 

Charles Whitley 
Elizabeth Gay 

Edna Wood 

Luther Gay, Jr. 

Elizabeth Adams 
Thomas M. Gorham 
Charles M. Harrell 
Oliver Pervis Powell 
Irma L. Resico 
Daniel Russell Taylor 
Rufus A. Thomas 
William Wiggs 

Margaret Wiggs 
James C. Worsley 

Josephine D. Worsley 


Ruth S. Abell 
James Baker, Jr. 
Maynard Baker 
Faye A. Burns 
Ned Conrad 

Betty Conrad 
Richard Maxwell Conrad 
J. Conyers 
Gladys C. Doub 
Berry Holden 
Mrs. W.G. Moore 
Carole Nicholson 
Benny Perry 
Susan Hunter Petree 
James Speed 


Frank M. Baker, Jr. 
Henry K. Baker, Jr. 
James H. Baker, Jr. 
Mrs. S. J. Beasley 
Billie P. Ethridge 
Linda P. Jones 
David Watson Mitchiner 
Gladys M. Scott 
Charles A. Sherrod 
James D. Wheless 

Albany, GA 
Austin, TX 

Mt. Olive 



Pink Hill 
Mount Olive 


Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 

Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 

Rocky Mount 

Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 


























Century Farm Owners 


William Carpenter 

Mattie Carpenter 
William N. Craig 
Alvin H. Delliger 
Edward E. Friday 
Jack W. Grier 
Lynda W. Hancock 
Howard D. Harrelson 
Wade Hovis 
Edith Pasour 

Clay Pasour 
Mary F. Ratchford 
Paul N. Ratchford, Jr. 

Paul N. Ratchford, Sr. 
Thomas G. Sparrow 

D. Russell Stroup 
A. A. Stroup 

Sarah R. Watts 


Frank S. Barnes 

E. A. Blanchard (heirs) 
Joseph R. Freeman, Jr. 

E. J. Freeman (Estate) 
J.D. Hill 

John R. Langston, Jr. 
Christine L. Modlin 
Samuel L. Morgan 
S.E. Nixon 

Mrs. Nina Gatling Parker 
Margaret L. Piland 
Charles Walter Rountree 
Elizabeth Rountree 
Herbert F. Rountree 
Doris L. Stephenson 
Edward P. Story 
Mrs. Kate Walters 
Carl Webb 
Marvin Wiggins 
Maxine S. Wiggins 


Amanda R. Blankenship 


Fred Blackwell 

William A. Bobbitt (heifs) 

Jacksey M. Bobbitt 
W.B. Crews 

Jack Thomas Dickerson 

Elsie Dickerson 
Mrs. M.T. Geer 
James B. Haney 
Richard W. Harris, Jr. 
Solomon H. Harris 
Pearl Sears Howell 

F. Earl Hunt, Jr. 
Nan G. Hunt 

Daniel Hunt 

Jean Hunt 
Robinette M. Husketh 
Edward Thomas Husketh, Jr. 
Ralph H. Lane, Sr. 
Alfred W. Lyon 
Mark Lyon 
James O. May 
Mrs. Mary I. Parham 
Adelle W. Perry 
Claude A. Renn 
Robert C. Renn 
L. Ray Royster 
Mrs. Emma M. Summers 
William A. Terry 
Lemon Thales Turner 

Rosa W. Turner (heirs) 
Thomas William Winston 


Claude L. Barrett, Jr. 
L.O. Beddard 
Martha E. Croom 








Bessemer City 



Bessemer City 

Bessemer City 







Suffolk, VA 

























Rocky Mount 











Morehead City 

Virgilina, VA 

Snow Hill 

Albert Sidney Darden 

Henry C. Dixon 

John R. Edmundson, Jr. 

Wm. C. Edmundson 
Roy T. Forrest 
J. Paul Frizzelle 
William J. Galloway 
Sandra H. Garner 
James W. Herring 
Charles F. Sugg, Jr. 


W.T. Ballinger 
Emily Ballinger 
Mr. Max Ballinger 
Mrs. Max Ballinger 

Edith M. Bartko 

John Garland Clapp, Sr. 

Leonard Fields 

William W. Greeson 

Charles Ingram 
Kathryn Ingram 

Jack B. Johnson 

Robert W. McNairy 

J. Benjamin Miles 

Fred Nix 
Nellie Nix 

Thomas Osborne 
George Osborne 
Eula R. Osborne 

Cleora C. Payne 

Walker W. Scott 

John Henry Stewart 

Franklin J. Teague 

Mrs. Jew Irvin Wagoner 

John B. Wagoner 


Mrs. Thomas Braswell 
Robert B. Fleming 
Claude Garner 
Laura Garner 
Quentin Gregory, Jr. 
Annie R. Hockaday 
William H. Lewis 
Raymond F. Shearin 


DeLorese Caviness 
Thomas Caviness 

John D. Champion 

F. Junius Denning 

Lamas Floyd 

Mack R. Hudson 

Betty H. Johnson 

Ralph L. Johnson 

Robert M. Kinton 
Katherine Kinton 

Daywood E. Langdon 

Shirley W. McDaniel 

Thelma F. Parrish 

Hoke Smith 
Dorothy A. Smith 


Robert Fulbright 

Sylvia Echols 
Clifford M. Harrell, Jr. 
John H. Kirkpatrick, Jr. 
Way Mease, Sr. 
Hugh L.Noland 
Riley W.Palmer 


Carl L. Brannon 
Wallace Case 

Betty Case 
Edward Leroy Hawkins 
Charles B. Ingram 

Clara H. Ingram 
W.V. Levi 

Pauline Levi 

Snow Hill 
Snow Hill 

Snow Hill 
Snow Hill 
Snow Hill 


High Point 



Browns Summit 
Elon College 

Roanoke Rapids 


Roanoke Rapids 


















Horse Shoe 



Century Farm Owners 


Henry Thomas Brown, Jr. 
Henry Thomas Brown, Sr. 
Samuel T. Burbage, Jr. 
Patricia O. Burke 
Elizabeth C. Sessoms 
Elsie H. Snipes 
Louis W. Snipes 
Ruth Thomas 
Mary Thomas 


Delia Raynor 
Harold M. Thrower 


T.E. Bridgman (heirs) 
Camille B. Clarke 
George T. Davis, Jr. 

Calvin B. Davis 
Coleman C. Davis 
Mary Louise McGee 
Tra Jennette Perry 
Christine F. Ramon 


Mrs. Rose H. Albea 
Thomas A. Allison 
Josephine T. Anderson 
L.M. Beaver 
Mrs. Emma K. Boyd 
Addie T. Bradsher 

Wallace R. Bradsher 
Robert T. Brawley 
William Kerr Brawley 
David Edgar Douglas, Jr. 
Russell Avery Douglas 
Martha S. Goodin 
Linda S. Goodin 
John E. Hendren 
Melmoth W. Hill 
John Howard 
Charles C. Lynn 
Glenn Mayes 

Mable Mayes 
Roy S. McNeely 
Ralph Moore 

Lucile Moore 
Henry P. Mullis 
William M. Pressly 
Harry Prevette 

Dean T. Redmond and Brothers 
Mrs. John D. Stevenson 
Robert S. Thomas 
Mrs. Mary D. Warren 
Mrs. George B. Weaver 
T.W. Weaver 
Wesley O. Weston 
Mrs. Irene P. Williams 


Claudia Atkinson 
Samuel T. Avera 
Demetrius H. Bagley 
Mrs. Worth Bagley 
Myrtle Bailey 

Mamie P. Bailey 
L.W. Bailey (heirs) 
Lunette Barber 

Charlotte B. Parker 
Susan S. Barbour 
Ayden Barefoot 
Harold Jake Barnes 
Rochelle H. Bolyard 
Mrs. Bertha H. Boyette 
Ray A. Boyette 
Edell Watson Boykin 
Zilphia A. Brantley 
Margaret Britt 

Leonard Britt 
Joel Thurman Brown 
Jesse Herman Brown 









Red Springs 

Swan Quarter 
Swan Quarter 

Swan Quarter 

Norfolk, VA 














Union Grove 





Stony Point 











Washington, DC 





Newton Grove 









Martha Sanders Burns 


G.H. Coats, III 

Salt Lake, UT 

Leonard R. Creech 


Wade Sidney Creech 


Mrs. Henry J. Cross 


Mary Elizabeth Davis 


Clara P. Kirby 

Mr. W.R. Denning, Jr. 


Mrs. W.R. Denning, Jr. 

Lamas Denning 


Raymond E. Earp, Jr. 


Mary E. Moore 

Honey L. Edwards 


Barbara T. Ennis 


Patricia Taylor 

Addie Barbara Fuller 


Tryon George 

Four Oaks 

Elizabeth George 

James J. Godwin 


William P. Godwin 


Sue Gray 


Bonnie Greene 


Mrs. Lois R. Hatcher 


B. Hinnant 


William D. Hinnant 


Ralph H. Hinnant 


Mrs. Rebecca H. Hinton 


Clyde H. Honeycutt 

Willow Spring 

Edward Osmond Jeffreys 


Harold Layton Johnson 

Four Oaks 

Margaret H. Johnson 


Emily Coats King 

Willow Spring 

S. Aaron Langdon 


Will H. Lassister, III 

Four Oaks 

Will H. Lassister 

Four Oaks 

Wade A. Lassister 

Four Oaks 

Iris H. Lawrence 


Mrs. Viola Lee 

Four Oaks 

William Homer Lee 


Jacqueline W. Lee 

William Dayton Lee 


Roger Lynch 


Yoakum Austin Matthews 


Samuel B. McLamb 


Jean McLean 

Chapel Hill 

Ruth McLean 

Cora McLean 
George Ammie McLemore, Jr. 
Mary Moore 
Velton Calvert Moore 
Sam Narron 

Susie Narron 
Lela R. Ogburn 
Beebe Oliver Parker 
L. Donald Parker 
William Parker 

Norma Tuttle 
Lawrence B. Peacock 
Merlin A. Peedin 
Wilbur M. Bailey 
Ramona Bailey Phillips 
Henry A. Pittman 
John Robert Richardson 
Edith Pike Richardson 
Joseph Bryant Rose, Sr. 
James Royall 

Thomas Royall 

Alice Royall 
Elizabeth B. Sanders 
Mrs. Maytle J. Stephenson 
Milton Stephenson 

Velma Stephenson 
Alfred T. Taylor, Jr. 
Mavis Atkinson Thorne 
Charles E. Tomlinson 
Evelyn H. Vinson 
Herman C. Vinson 

Turner Vinson, Jr. 
Kathleen L. Walton 
Linda L. Whitley 
Cleo J. Williams 
Walter R. Williams 
Charles W. Wilson 
Alyne K. Woodall 
Herman Leo Woodard 

New York, NY 
Four Oaks 

Willow Spring 
Pine Level 










Willow Spring 

Burke, VA 





Four Oaks 

Four Oaks 

Four Oaks 





Century Farm Owners 

Johnnie Woodard 
Eula Woodard 
E. Worth 

Lillie P. Yelverton 

William Clen Bynum, Jr. 
James E. Foscue 

Sarah T. Foscue 
Sue M. Huggins Gray 
Beasley M. Jones 
William M. Kime 


William T. Brooks 
John A. Eades 
Veanna P. Goodwin 
Dorothy Smith King 
Doyette Lett 

Vernie L. Womack 
Mrs. Clarence M. McNeill 
William A. Riggsbee 
Walter Scoggins 

Ruby Scoggins 
Martha B. Swaringen 


R. Lindsey Dail 

Isabelle M. Fletcher and Sons 

Sally M. Lowe 
David Herring 
Whitford Hill 
Alton Rouse 

Mary Rouse 
Frank A. Rouse 
W. Ralph Taylor, Jr. 
Oscar W. Waller 
Wilbur A. Tyndall 


Larry B. Baxter 
J.E. Carpenter, Jr. 
Anna Casper 
John K. Cline 
Nancy J. Conner 
Mrs. Frances N. Hains 
Ruby M. Heafner 
L.J. Hovis 
Mrs. Coy Lantz 
Coy F. Lantz 
Harold Reep 
Kathleen M. Turner 
William R. Warlick 
Craig L. Wood 
Dolores L. Wood 


Floyd Bradley 
Charles L. Browning 
Eula Bryson 

Robert Bryson 
Mrs. Lily C. Moody Cabe 
Eugene E. Crawford 
Elmer W. Crawford 
Robert L. Crawford 
Ralph J. Dean 

Lolita Dean 
Robert Enloe 
Milton Fouts 

Mary Fouts 
Cecile Gibson 
Sam K. Greenwood II 
Thomas Henry 

Emma Henry 
E.A. Howell 
Jeff W. May 
Robert McGaha 

Mattie McGaha 
Charles William Nolen 
John F. Raby 
Annie Smith 
Jesse L. West, Jr. 



High Point 

Pink Hill 
New Bern 

Lemon Springs 




Seven Springs 

Pink Hill 



Iron Station 






















Raymond Womack 
Betty Womack 


James R. Allen, Jr. 
Hall Bruce 
W. Wayne Fisher 
Homer Plemmons 
Ruby Plemmons 
Gilbert Stackhouse 


Elizabeth H. Coltrain 
King Cratt 

Annie Cratt 
William Simeon Daniel 
Charles G. Forbes 
Napoleon Green 

Sylvia G. Smith 
Daniel McCoy Griffin 
Rufus S. Gurganus 

Sybil P. Gurganus 
Clay W. Harris 
Samuel David Jenkins 
Ben Gray Lilley 
Annie Peele c/o Charles Peele 
Jean G. Rogers 

Mary Griffin 

Mickie Nelson 
Mrs. Delmus Rogerson 
Bessie H. Savage 
Harry Smith 

Nina Smith 
Berry Warren 

Betty Warren 
John Smallwood Whitley 


Henry Brown 

Wilda Brown 
Patricia H. Brown 

Kent W. Brown 

Julie P. Brown 

Rebecca L. Hemphill 

Jacqueline R. Templeton 

John D. Templeton 
Thaddeus Conley 
William G. English 
Charles H. Greenlee 

Wm. G. Greenlee 
Ruth McEntire Greenlee 
Charles F. Ledbetter 
J.M. Mackey 
Clara R. McCall 
Lloyd G. Miller 
Daniel L. Rowe 
Abraham L. Simmons 


John F. Black 
Mary E. Cato 

Edith Ewart 
Carolyn I. Regan Depuy 
William E. Hipp 
Mrs. Dan Hood 
Elizabeth W. Matthews 
John McDowell 
Davis Robinson 
Sam Rone 

Janie M. Ardrey 
Edna A. Scott 
Lillian M. Stephenson 
Mrs. Miriam S. Whisnant 

Mrs. Lilyan S. Hunter 


Mrs. Lorene P. Greene 

Rex Peake 

Max Peake 

Dean Peake 
Guy Silver 

JoAnn Silver 


Mars Hill 
Hot Springs 

















Old Fort 

Alexandria, VA 

Old Fort 


Old Fort 








Spruce Pine 


Century Farm Owners 


Martha M. Ayers 
Emma Bruton 
Bessie Bruton 

David William Joseph Bruton 
Crissie L. Dunn 
Mary Leach Harper 
G.A. Haywood, Jr. 
Jean McKinnon Hubbard 
W.A. Leach 

Mary Harper 

Estelle Allen 
B.D. McKimmon 
Charlie Singleton 
Brenda Singleton 
Arthur G. Stewart 

Willie L. Stewart 
Frank P. Tedder 

Mattie Tedder 
J.C. Thompson 
Cleo Ottis Wooley 
Bessie Wright 

Valerie Wright 

W.C. Wright, Jr. 


John M. Baker 
Herbert N. Blue 
J. Sam Blue 

Wiley Harrison Callicutt 
George R. Cameron 

Ruth S. Cameron 
Henry Lester Caviness 

Helen Caviness 
Billy Cole 

Betty Cole 
Mrs. Margaret Foushee 
Mrs. Maude Blue Hendren 
Mrs. Myrtle Garner Hussey 
Mrs. Lucile H. Hyman 
Alice Ann Hyman 

Robert J. Hyman, Jr. 
Douglas Floyd Kelly 
Arthur Lawhon 
Cary Lee McLeod, Jr. 
Mary Ruth H. McLeod 
Fred B. Monroe 
Billy J. Poley 
Charles G. Priest 
Arthur L. Read 
Helen M. Garner Scott 
James W. Shaw 
John Alex Smith 
Robert G. Wadsworth, Jr. 


W.B. Austin, Jr. 
Maymie W. Barnes 
Lucy M. Batchelor 
Mary D. Batchelor 
Norman R. Batchelor 
R. Winslow Bone 
Justice A. Boyd 
Sallie Edna Braswell 

Mrs. Helen B. Jones 
Bessie Evans Brown 
Ronald E. Capps 

Pearl C. Capps 
Mary Lee Coley 
Dorothene W Cooper 
Samuel A.J. Deans 
Guy Farmer 

Jerry Farmer 
Luther Fisher 
Everette J. Glover 
William O. Griffin 
Mrs. Florine R. Jeffreys 
Louise M. Johnson 
Charles H. Jordan 
Donald L. Lamm 
Russell A. Lamm, Sr. 
Sallie M. Lamm 

S.D. Lamm 

Mount Gilead 


Mt. Gilead 
Mt. Gilead 

Mt. Gilead 



Jackson Springs 

Mt. Gilead 

Mt. Gilead 





West End 


Jackson, MS 




West End 

West End 







Rocky Mount 
Spring Hope 
Spring Hope 
Rocky Mount 

Rocky Mount 

Rocky Mount 
Spring Hope 



Red Oak 



Elm City 




Dolly M. Leonard 
W.R. Mann 
C.J. Matthews 
Hattie Evans Moore 
Frank Parker Philips, Jr. 
Jack W. Price 
Christine Vester Price 
Carl Rich 
Ray Lee Rose 
Mrs. Hazel Cooper Rose 
A.R. Stallings 
David Strickland 
E.T. Taylor, Jr. 

Mozelle Taylor 
Henry Ivan Tharrington 
Benjamin L. Ward 
Gene Watson 

Sara Watson 
Leon Weaver 
Mae W. Williams 
Lou Jean D. Winstead 

Walter M. Winstead 


Betty Jo Floyd Hulin 


Howard G. Barnes 
Lizzie F. Edwards 
Alice H. Elliott 
G.B. Fleetwood 
Hubert Fenton Floyd 
Marvin L. Floyd 
Peter Floyd 
Calvin Moore Floyd 
Leon Flythe 

Travis J. Flythe 
William W. Grant 
Marshall W. Grant 
Mary G. Haigwood 
Barbara Harris 

Mrs. L. Samuel Harris 
Edward T. Hollowell 
M.B. Johnson 
Abner P. Lassiter, Sr. 
Mrs. E.W. Martin 
Miss Jimmie N. Martin 
Mrs. Rosalie T. Melvin 
John S. Sykes 
Mrs. Anne L. Warren 
J.R. Woodard 


Irene Cotton 

Russell Uzzell 

James Uzzell Family 
Anthony Cox 

James Cox 
Janelle Girouard 

Avanelle Y. Girouard 
Mitti P. Hewitt 

Sam P. Hewitt 
Martha B. Hodnett 
Mary M. Hoods 
Reba G. Justice 
Mrs. Bernie B. Kesler 
Dixie L. Mattocks 

Pauline M. Sanders 
Mrs. Ruth V. Mills 
Mrs. Martha M. Olive 
Mrs. P.M. Paschall 
James A. Rouse 
William Mattocks Sanders 
Mrs. Harriet D. Scott 
Joseph Rhem Taylor, Jr. 
Wayne B. Venters 
Elmer J. Venters 
Mrs. C.H. Venters, Sr. 
Roland V. Venters 


Elbert H. Allison 
N.K. Andrews 

Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 
Rocky Mount 

Elm Grove 
Rocky Mount 

Rocky Mount 



Rocky Mount 
Maudlin, SC 



Virginia Beach, VA 






Roanoke R apids 

Chester, VA 





















Atlanta, GA 









Hurdle Mills 


Century Farm Owners 

Elizabeth N. Blalock 
Thomas N. Blalock 
James M. Blalock 

J. Fred Bowman 
Betty Bowman 

Jane M. Branscome 
L.M. Merritt 
E. Mangum 

John H. Cate, Sr. 

Flora Dick Dellinger 
Edna Dellinger 
Cothran Dellinger 
Gene Dellinger 

Katherine Kirkpatrick 

Floyd Fox Miller 

Shelton L. Ray 

Richard Roberts 
Ollie Roberts 

L. Phillip Walker 

Bryant J. Walker 


James B. Hardison 
Alfred D. Jones 
William F. Tingle 
Shirley L. Tingle 
I. Lee Whorton 


Annie B. Lowry 

Walter Lowry, Jr. 
Richard F. Stallings 

Johnnie W. Stallings 


Johnie C. Garrason 
Carolyn G. Garrason 

Joab F. Johnson, Jr. 
Emily Johnson 

Albert H. Pridgen, Jr. 

Rebecca W. Reynolds 
J. Paul Reynolds 
William L. Reynolds 


Mattie F. Boyton 

Linwood G. Boyton 
Noah Felton, Jr. 

Emma Smith 

Mary Floyd 
L.G. Howell 
William Nixon, III 
Gene Perry 

Lydia Perry 
Claude N. Rountree 
Elizabeth S. Taylor 

J.H. Skinner 

S.S. Tarkington 
Doris R. Winslow 

Elizabeth R. Felton 


Richard H. Bailey 

Paul Bailey 
Mr. Eugene C. Berryhill 

Mrs. Eugene C. Berryhil 
Eddie M. Blackard 
Bessie M. Bradsher 
W.L. Bradsher 
Alice S. Broach 
Brooks R. Carver 
Mrs. Pearl C. Crumpton 
Fred Fox, Sr. 

Fred Fox, Jr. 
John W. Glenn 
Addie Jones Hall 
Lois Hamlin 

Eleanor Dunn 

Joy Mangum 
Roberta W. Hanna 

John Hanna 
Larry C. Hester 

Hurdle Mills 

Chapel Hill 


Chapel Hill 


Pamlico, FL 


Elizabeth City 
Elizabeth City 













Hurdle Mills 





Hurdle Mills 

Patrick C. Hester 
Lucile B. Hicks 
James H. Holeman 
Stephen Long 

Annie Long 
John H. Merritt, Jr. 
Mildred S. Nichols 

B.I. Satterfield 

A.J. Satterfield 
Mrs. O.W. Pointer 
Maurice B. Robertson 
Richard Suitt 

Yvonne Suitt 
William Tillett 

Thomas Tillett 
John W. Vanhook 


G.W. Benson 
Helen Jewep Cannon 
Mrs. Dodie M. Carson 
Margaret B. Dwyer 
Lottie Ellis 

Bruce Ellis Boyd 
Ronald H. Garris 
Worth B. Hardee 
Charles T. Hardison 
Susanna A. Harris 
James T. Lang 
T.W. Lang 

Mrs. Edward W. May 

Robert W. May 
Alfred McLawhorn, Jr. (heirs) 
Haywood A. McLawhorn (heirs) 
Milton R. Moore 
Clarence H. Moye, II 

G. A. Newton 
Bert S. Smith, Jr. 
Robert S. Spain 
Iris Taylor 

Herbert Taylor 
Mrs. Julian B. Timberlake, Jr. 
Clifford S. Whichard 
Edward A. Whichard 
J. Eric Whichard 
Delano R. Wilson 
Chester Worthington 


Bernard J. Womack 


R.C. Adams 
Robert L. Blair, Jr. 
Robert F. Brittain 

Ulnah A. Brittain 
Pauline S. Brower 

H. Grady Brown 
Branson Coltrane 

Thelma Coltrane 
E. Cone 

Mildred E. Spencer 
Clarice C. Cox 
Howard C. Craven 
Lynden H. Craven 
D.S. Davis 
Connie C. Haskins 
Jay Hohn, Jr. 

Linda A. Hohn 
Virtle Craven Holloway 
Hal J. Luther 
Myrtle McDaniel 

J. Allen McDaniel 
Julia E. Newberry 
Samuel Vernace Pugh, Sr. 
Mary C. Purvis 
Joe W. Routh 
Clyde R. Spencer 
Clay Sugg 

Ruby Sugg 
Mary Alice White 
Earl Reece White 

Hurdle Mills 


Hurdle Mills 































Mill Spring 


Siler City 
High Point 
High Point 


Siler City 













High Point 
High Point 

Century Farm Owners 


James L. Dawkins 
Lila C. Dawkins 
John Hybert Dockery 
Ray Gibson 
Robert S. Gibson 
Mrs. Mildred M. Laton 
Alonzo Bliss McQueen 
Mrs. Emmett A. Rivenbark 
Grayson Watson 


John Hybert Atkinson 
Carl Ayers 
Edward C. Baker 
Betty G. Barnes 
Knox M. Barnes 
Bahnson N. Barnes 
Walter R. Baxley 

Sarah Baxley 
Naomi Bracey 
Leon Douglas Bridgers 
Douglas Bullock 
B.O. Burns 
Mrs. H.D. Burns 
Margaret L. Dutton 
W. Fred Fisher 

Norma L. Fisher 
Lester W. Floyd 
Fred W. Floyd (heirs) 
Thomas Greyard 
Douglas Hammond 
Clifford H. Hammond 
Edwin J. Humphrey 
Annie Humphrey 
Lawrence F. Ivey 
James H. Ivey 
Jack Leggett Jenkins, Jr. 

Jack Leggett Jenkins, Sr. 
J. Garth Lewis 
John H. McArthur, Jr. 
Langdon T. McCormick 
Neill McCormick 
William N. McCormick 
Julia Mclver 
Nan McKellar 
M.G. McKenzie, Jr. 
Edward H. McKinnon 
Katie McLean 
Mary W. McLean 
Mrs. Robert McMillan 
Mrs. Laelia Pate McRae 
Mrs. Doris McRae Moore 
Paul S. Oliver, Jr. 
James R. Oliver 
Joseph Page 
George Reed Pate 
Charles H. Pearce 
Islay C. Pittman 
Benjamin Pittman, Jr. 
Thomas Powers 
Preston Powers 
Muldrew Powers 
Mrs. John B. Regan 
Margaret Rice 
Carson C. Sessoms 
Benjamin F. Shaw, Jr. 
L.R. Shaw 
Mrs. Wilma Shooter 
Mrs. Ada A. Shooter 
Blanche N. Skillman 
Charles T. Smith 
Earl Smith 
Okey Stephens 
Carl D. Stephens 
Mrs. A.F. Stone 
Aldena Stone 
Leon Stuart 
Robert Stuart, Jr. 
Jane B. Thrower 
Daniel Earle Townsend 
Mabel A. Townsend 
Evelyn S. Waddell 
Mrs. Beulah W. Ward 


Myrtle Beach, SC 

Norfolk, VA 

Radford, VA 











St. Pauls 







St. Pauls 


Four Oaks 









St. Pauls 

St. Pauls 

Lumber Bridge 
















St. Pauls 

St. Pauls 



St. Pauls 

Lumber Bridge 



Red Springs 









Red Springs 






Paul Payne 

William David Bennett 
Mrs. Grace S. Brannock 
Charles F. Burton, Jr. 
Thomas S. Butler 
Ralph W. Cummings 
H.J. Dye 
Samyria W. King 

John D. King 
Mrs. Rachel C. Lufty 
C. Alton Pearson 
T.E. Witty 


James W. Brown, Sr. 
B.N. Fleming 
Charles T. Graham 
Turner C. Hall, Sr. 
Mrs. Burton L. Jones 
R. Howard Knox 
Harold R. Overcash 
Charlie M. Sloop 
J.C. Stirewalt 
Mrs. Ben B. White 
Roy E. Wyatt 


Margaret Bostic 
Walter Byers 

Lucille Byers 
James D. Carpenter 
John D. Carpenter 
Howard L. Daniel 
Margaret S. Davis 
William F. Davis 
Mrs. Emma G. Depriest 
J. Baxter Doggett 
Carl M. Edgerton 
Mrs. Lucy F. Ellis 

Mary F. Geer 
Jack M. Freeman, Jr. 
William Melvin Harris 
Jerome Holler 

Beth Holler 
Mary V. Miller Huss 
Judson F. Koone 
Samuel L. Lawing 
Robert L. McKinney 
Ruth G. Melton 
Mrs. O.R. Padgett 
Frances F. Phillips 
J.O. Toms 


Marion A. Allen 

Mary K. Allen 

Sallie Allen 
George B. Autry 
Leroy Autry 

Annie Belle Herring Bass 
Thera Godwin Bass 
T. Ray Best 
Alton Byron Bizzell 
Herbert S. Bland, Jr. 
Janellen Bradshaw 

Delmon Bradshaw 
Mrs. Charles Bryant 
John C. Bryant 
Thomas F. Darden 

Corretta Darden 
Charles Earl Daughtry 
Sudie O. Davis 
James Godwin 

Jane Godwin 
James E. Hairr 
Margie Hall 

Lester Hall 
James L. Hines, Jr. 
Cloyce C. Honeycutt 
Hannibal W. Jernigan, Jr. 
Lucille Jernigan 
Clarence O. Jones 












Mt. UHa 



Mt. UHa 








Forest City 

Forest City 
Forest City 
Forest City 
Union Mills 
Forest City 

Forest City 
Union Mills 

Union Mills 
Forest City 
Forest City 

Rose Hill 

Chapel Hill 









Newton Grove 



Siler City 

Newton Grove 

Century Farm Owners 

Harold B. Lamb 
L. Murray Lewis 
Billy C. Lockamy 
Floyd Lockerman 
Alton McGee 
Robert W. McLamb 
W.I. McLamb 

Elizabeth J. McLamb 
Marshall. J. McLamb (heirs) 
Mrs. Alice P. Merritt 
Flossie Autry Mobley 

Vida Autry 
Claude H. Moore 
Charles Henry Murphy 
James A. Parker 
Bertie A. Parker 
Stacy Hamilton Peterson 
Ed Purcell 
Romie G. Simmons 
H.L. Stewart, Jr. 
Jean B. Sutton 
W.I. Taylor, Jr. 
Charles Thomas 

Floyd Lockerman 
Mae H. Troublefield 
Marshall. H. Troublefield 
Mr. James R. Vann 

Mrs. James R. Vann 
Houston B. Warren 
Loyd C. Warwick 
Edith M. Westbrook 
Granger A. Westbrook 
Lillian J. Worley 


James A. Cooley 
Graham B. Gainey 

Nancy M. Gainey 
Mary McRae Lee 

Doris McRae Moore 
Jeannette McGirt 
Wright Parker 

Mozelle Parker 
Sarah McRae Rowan 
Joyce Pate Ward 


Mrs. Maudie Aldridge 
Margie Allen 
Paul Bowers 

Etha Bowers 
C. Spurgeon Brooks 
Luther B. Efird 
George F. Eury 
Edna R. Hathcock 

Farrington M. Hathcock 
G.A. Hatley 
U.A. Hatley 
Kathy M. Little 
Bill Moore 
Virgil C. Moss 
Grady Palmer 
Joyce H. Pickler 
John S. Pickler, II 
Robert A. Stoker 
W.L. Thompson, Jr. 
Mrs. W.L. Thompson, Sr. 


Etta M. Boles 
Wanda Brewer 

Charles Brewer 
Minnie W. Cates 

Willie Mae Cates 
Trudie W. Dalton 
Luther Ferguson 
Worth Gentry 

Marquerit Gentry 
Ethel Cates Hutchison 
Wendell V. Keiger 
Mabel S. Lawson 
Ralph W. Lawson 
Mattie Cates Lewillyn 



















Mt. Olive 




Newton Grove 
Mt. Olive 






Mt. Pleasant 





New London 

New London 


New London 









Walnut Cove 


Anna Pell Broadwell 
Grady Cooper, Jr. 
Grady Cooper, Sr. 
Irene H. Dobbins 
Brenda O. Mabe 
Robert G. Snow 


Basil T. Cahoon 


George S. Crook 
C. Lynn Eubanks 

Edwina Eubanks 
Roy S. Helms 
Helen Lowder 

H.B. Biggers, Jr. 

Mildred Austin 

Evelyn Biggers 

Hester Ross 

John Biggers 
Mrs. Tom McCollum 


William R. Alston 
John Bullock 
Kate Taylor Bullock 
Mrs. Lucy R. Burwell 
Mrs. Sylvia Cawthorne 

Joan Cawthorne 

Knott Cawthorne 

Gwen Mclnnis 
Thurston T. Coghill 
Peter D. Coghill 
Ethel W. Crews 

Irene Woodlief 
Mrs. Nellie B. Crews 
B. Mac Crews 
Mr. Albert H. Crews 

Mrs. Albert H. Crews 

Mrs. Evelyn C. Burroughs 
George T. Dickie II 
Dorothy Wiggins Ellis 
Mrs. David P. Evans 
Charles B. Finch, Jr. 
Marshall M. Floyd 
Louise Dickie Formyduval 
Charlie U. LeMay 
Agnes Dickie Long 
Joe D. Mabry, Jr. 
Jane Dickie McGlaughon 
Mrs. W.L. Moss 
V.E. Rawles, Jr. 
Junius W. Rogers, Jr. 
Walter R. Rogers 
Edward G. Rogers 
Thelma B. Satterwhite 
W.M. Spain 
Mrs. Hazel W.Steagall 

Mrs. Helen W. Finch 
Olivia Taylor 
Betty B. Tucker 

George N. Tucker III 
Mabel G. Wade 
William W. White, Jr. 

Charles M. White 
Myrtle S. Woodlief 
Mrs. Mildred S. Wortham 


Cora C. Bailey 
Mrs. L.Y. Ballentine 
Susan L. Burroughs 
Elmer C. Burt 
Dewey Corbin 
H. Harold Cotton 
A. Winstead Dove 
Isabelle B. Fish 

Rufus T. Fish 
J.R. Fowler, Jr. 
Ernest Greene 

Sally Greene 


Pilot Mountain 






























Chapel Hill 



Wake Forest 



Willow Springs 


Century Farm Owners 

Robert E. Horton 
Titus M. Jones 
Mrs. Grace C. Kilkelly 
Mitchell L. Lawrence 
Emily R. Merntt 
Mrs. Maude S. Morrow 
Felcie O'Briant 
R. Louis Pearce, Sr. 
Herman C. Pearce, Sr. 
Mrs. J. Wesley Perry, Sr. 
Mrs. Lizzie E. Powell 
William Powell 

Naomi Powell 

Annie Powell 
Vivian J. Shearon 
Charles Hinton Silver 
John Smart 

Gertrude Smart 
Mrs. Robbie J. Smith 
F.D. Sorrell 

Allen Sorell 

A.L. Sorrell 

J.D. Denning 

W.E. Denning 

W.R. Denning, Jr. 
R.A. Stevens 
Katharine J. Watson 
Mrs. Bailey P. Williamson 


William Robert Alston 
Mr. Max D. Ballinger 

Mrs. Max D. Ballinger 
Raleigh Esters Gordon 
James A. Hayes, Jr. 
Ellen P. Perkinson 
E. Cliff Robertson 
Willie T. Robinson 
W.F. Rooker (heirs) 
Patricia Alston Scott 

William Edward Alston 
Albert Seaman 
Mrs. J.L. Skinner 

William T. Skinner 
Mary E. Walker Taylor 


W.T. Holmes 
W.W. Mizell 


Mrs. Thomas J. Banner 
Paul Braswell 

Ruth Braswell 
Maxine Bradley Burrows 
Mary Margery Coler 
Robert Orville Jackson 
David P. Mast, Sr. 
Guy H. Norris 
Josephine B. Reid 
Ira D. Shull 


Lucile R. Andrews 

Andrews Farms of Wayne Co., Inc. 
Karl M. Best 
Mrs. Mabel S. Daughtry 
Bernice G. Davis 
John R. Deans 
Jesse R. Denning 

Billy H. Denning 
Pearl D. Denning 
Sedalia Smith Green 
Edna W. Hinson 
Charles T. Hooks, Sr. 
Mrs. Mary Grady Jones 
Nina B. Joyner 
L.H. Lane 

William H. Lane, Jr. 
John L. Pippin 
James N. Price 
Arthur Raymond 





Wake Forest 




Wake Forest 


Wake Forest 


Holly Springs 















Camarillo, CA 

Sugar Grove 
Banner Elk 


Mount Olive 
Four Oaks 

Mount Olive 


Seven Springs 



Mount Olive 




Seven Springs 


Currie H. Smith 
J. Edgar Taylor 
Ivan Westbrook 

Margaret Westbrook 
Louise Williams 
Mrs. John N. Wolfe 


Lois Bass 
Claude D. Billings 
Thomas W. Ferguson 
Finley L. German 
Gwyn Hayes 

Elva K. Hayes 
Mrs. Violet J. Miller 
Mrs. D.F. Payne 
Joy Belle Foster Payne 
Leeman Bronson Walls 

Lucy Sparks Walls 


Joseph E. Adkins 
Frank M. Barnes 
Mrs. J.R. Boykin, Jr. 
Douglas W. Braswell 

Dorothy L. Braswell 
Sally F. Cook 

Clarence D. Cook 
J.B. Etheridge Estate 
Marvin E. Evans 
Elgia Scott Farrior 
Hugh Buckner Johnston 
J. Russell Kirby 
William Kirby (heirs) 
Ivey A. Lamm, Jr. 
J.C. Langley, Jr. 
Jack H. Liles 
Charles H. Phillips 
Beulah P. Price 
Marvin L. Robbins 
Carl S. Smith 
Curtis L. Thomas 
Travis Thompson 
Redmond Thurman Thorne 
Daniel Whitley, Sr. 
Dora Williford 
Mrs. Wyatt C. Yelverton 


Mervin K. Barron 
E.H. Cooper 

Betty Poindexter Cooper 
Ralph S. Dobbins 
Mrs. Fannie S. Doub 
Lucy Brendle Hinshaw 
John W. Long, Jr. 
Paul Matthews 
W. Bryce Reavis 
Flora B. Scott 

O.C. Scott 
Dale Thomason 
Paul Windsor 
Thad A. Wiseman 

Claude G. Wiseman 

Mt. Olive 
Four Oaks 

Mt. Olive 






Millers Creek 

Rocky Mount 









Elm City 




Rocky Mount 




Elm City 




East Bend 

East Bend 
East Bend 
East Bend 
East Bend 



Century Farm Family 



Alamance County 


The family tradition is that Susan A. 
Aldridge and her son, William (Bill) Harrison 
Aldridge, came from England. They settled in 
the Union Ridge community, Faucette 
Township, Alamance County, North Caroli- 
na about 1850. 

The Aldridges have lived in Alamance County since 

William married Nancy Benton Crawford. 
From this union five children were born. 

The Aldridge house was built circa 1871 by 
William Aldridge, who was deeded 65 acres of 
land in consideration that he provide for and 
support his mother-in-law during her natural 

William was a true farmer, using up-to-date 
methods and keeping his land in a high state 
of cultivation. In later years when the soil con- 
servation was terracing the land, they were 
amazed at the terraces they found on the 
Aldridge farm. 

In 1882, William Aldridge built a store at 
the crossroads near the center of Union 
Ridge. In that day this was one of the largest 
trading centers in the northern part of the 
county. Here people came from far and wide 
to do their trading. One of the features of the 
store was the handling of tobacco scraps. 
Union Ridge post office was a part of the gen- 
eral store for many years. The store was oper- 
ated by members of the Aldridge family for 
many years. 

Following William's death in 1 903, his son, 
Charles Phillip Aldridge, bought the two hun- 
dred acre farm from the other children with 
the understanding the mother would stay 
with him in the homeplace. Charles died at 
the age of fifty leaving the farm to his wife, 
Lessie Lea Garrison Aldridge, who kept the 
farm going. 

In 1 947, Charles' son, Charles (Bill) Manley 
Aldridge, bought the farm from his mother. 

Following the death of Charles M. Aldridge 
in 1977, his son, James Phillip Aldridge, and 
his wife, Helen, and daughter, Anne, moved 
to the homeplace. 

The Aldridge farm holds the second oldest 
Farm Bureau number in the state. Farming 
has been a way of life for the Aldridge family 
for many generations and it is the aim of this 
generation to keep tradition alive as they hon- 
or and conserve the farm. 

Submitted by James P. Aldridge 


The century farm I now own is located in 
the Snow Camp community. It was a grant to 
my great-great-grandfather, John Allen, Jr., 
in 1756 by Lord Granville of the Lords Pro- 

The John Allen housecan be faintly made out behind 
the tree in the yard of the current house. 

The Allen family had emigrated from Ire- 
land to Pennsylvania in the early 1 700s. From 
family tradition my great-great-great- 
grandfather, John Allen, Sr., visited Carolina 
in 1750 or 1751, and applied for a grant of 
land. He returned to Pennsylvania, became ill 
and died in 1 754 before the grant was validat- 
ed. The grant, therefore, was made to his old- 
est son, John Allen, Jr., who with his mother, 
three sisters and two brothers came to Caroli- 
na around 1760. The 90 acres now left con- 
tains the original homesite and has never 
been deeded out of the Allen name. 

The Aliens were Quakers and it was a Quak- 
er settlement. Therefore, there were no slaves 
ever. It has been a diversified activity; grain, 
produce, cattle, sheep at times, hogs and poul- 
try. The soil was not suitable for cotton or 
tobacco. No tobacco would have been grown 
anyway because of their commitment to their 
Quaker beliefs. 

A deep religious faith and a strong belief in 
and support of education was typical of the 
Allen families. Also, the men were fine crafts- 
men for their day. John Allen, Jr. taught 
school for many years. He also handcrafted 
many pieces of high quality furniture for the 
house. William Allen farmed heavily, the 
homeplace and two farms in Randolph Coun- 
ty. He also kept store at the home, obtaining 
his supplies from the riverport at Fayetteville 
by ox drawn wagons. 

William Graham Allen returned home 
after serving in the War Between the States 
and apprenticed for Millwright and Cabinet 
Maker status. He followed this vocation on an 
"as needed basis" in conjunction with farm- 

George Lester Allen as a youth began work- 
ing in the infant textile industry in the area. As 
a young adult he married and settled in the 
home community and began farming the 
homeplace while continuing working at the 
Woolen Mill during the winter. In 1910 he 
moved the family to the Allen Farm so he 
could better take care of his aging father. The 
Woolen Mill was burned in 1912 and was not 
rebuilt. He then turned to carpentry for sup- 
plemental income as conditions permitted. 

By the time my generation reached maturi- 
ty, the farming revolution had begun and 
there was no way a 100 acre farm could sup- 

port two families. Realizing this, all five boys 
went into public work. From the late 1940s 
when my father had to give it up until 1972, 
the land was rented to neighbors who were 
still operating as family farmers. In 1972 the 
open land was turned to pasture and until 
1 983 I ran beef cattle on it. It is now rented to 
a dairyman for pasture. 

At the homesite there is a spring that has 
never gone dry in the 225 years it has been in 
use. In fact in two of the very dry years of the 
late 1 920s three of us working in a water line 
tried to dip it dry but failed. 

Also there is a section of about 1 5-20 acres 
of woodland that according to word passed 
down has never been under plow. 

In the 1 960s, the North Carolina Historical 
Society was assisting the Alamance County 
Historical Society in developing a Memorial 
Park on the Alamance Battleground site. 
They were looking for a typical log house of 
colonial days to place on the grounds. The sec- 
ond house on the Allen farm built by John 
Allen, Jr. in 1782 was still standing and well 
enough preserved to be restored. This is the 
log house that can be seen at the park today. 

Our story is not sensational, but it is valid 
history of an era that is only a memory. 

Submitted by George C. Allen, Sr. 


When William Braxton, the first Braxton 
in this area of North Carolina, was settling on 
the old Braxton homeplace in the 1 750s, fam- 
ily records indicate there were Indians still in 
the area with wigwams on the hills above the 
family spring which the Indians used also as 
their source of water. 

During the Revolutionary War, Tory sol- 
diers raided the larder of Thomas Braxton's 
home, the old home place, eating the week's 
supply of bread and butter. Mary McPherson 
Braxton, daughter-in-law of William the 
Planter, saved the horses by driving them into 
the woods. She saved the pewter ware and 
other valuables by tossing them through a 
trap door in the floor, then she spread a quilt 
over the floor on which she placed a baby. The 
soldiers carefully avoided the quilt area. The 
earliest document we have pertaining to this 
farm now owned by Howard T. Braxton, is a 
surveyor's plan representing "a tract of land 
surveyed for William Braxon on the south 
side of Haw River and Cane Creek on Piney 
Branch." It contains 262 acres of land which 
was surveyed in 1 756. 

The second document, a grant of land to 
William Braxton, is an indenture made 
between John Earle Granville, Viscount Car- 
teret, Baron Carteret, of Hawnes in the coun- 
ty of Bedford in the kingdom of Great Britain 
of one part and William Braxon of Orange 
(now Alamance) county in the province of 
North Carolina, Planter of the other part in 
which for ten shillings John Earl Granville 
granted William Braxon 262 acres of land 
lying in the Parish of St. Luke in the County of 
Orange near Cane Creek on Piney Branch. 
This indenture is dated January 1 , 1761. 

The original 262 acres have been handed 
down from father to son according to the fol- 
lowing lineage: 

William Braxton, died 1 77 1 : to son Thom- 
as (1745-1815): to son John (1782-1860): to 
son Hiram Braxton (1741-1926) to son John 
Hiram Braxton (1882-1955): to son Howard 


Taft Braxton (1908), the present owner and 
occupant of part of the original 262 acres. By 
terms of a will this land will be inherited by 
the son of Howard Taft Braxton whose name 
is Howard Taft Braxton, Jr. Thus there will be 
seven generations of continuous ownership 
and occupancy of land granted by John Earl 
Granville to William Braxton in 1761 by the 
direct descendants of William, the Planter. 

The original home place was a log cabin of 
which only the remains of the stone founda- 
tion and the stone chimney can possibly be 

The crops produced through the more than 
200 years of history are corn, cotton, cows, 
garden products, hay, hogs, oats, rye, timber, 
tobacco and wheat. The farm buildings locat- 
ed on the farm are a frame house with two- 
stories, a dairy barn, a granary, a garage, a 
smoke house and a tobacco barn (now col- 
lapsed). The farm also had dairying and agri- 
cultural products such as cotton and tobacco, 
and gold mining which was popular over a 
century ago but has renewed interest and 
activity in the last two years. 

Submitted by Wilbert L. Braxton 


The first time John Danieley, Sr. shows up 
in the Orange County (Alamance County was 
a part of Orange until 1849) records is June 
1 0, 1 779, when he applied for a land grant of 
250 acres of both sides of Jacob's creek which 
is southwest of today's Bethel Church in Mor- 
ton Township, Alamance county. Once you 
applied for a grant, you had to meet certain 
requirements before you would receive title 
to the land, i.e., improvements to the land and 
loyalty to the Crown during the Revolution- 
ary period. John Sr. met these requirements 
and received his title on November 9, 1 788. 


Jesse J. Danieley and group, including his daugh- 
ter, Beulah Kay Short, wearing cap, tying tobacco. 

James Danieley was the father of John Sr. 
Family tradition is that he came to this area 
from Maryland. 

Other Danieley men received grants and 
settled in the Jacob's Creek area. The Danie- 
ley Century Farm is part of the 250 acre grant 
to John, Sr. and his descendants since 1788. 

John Danieley, Sr. operated a government 
whiskey distillery, a blacksmith shop and a 

woodworking shop as well as farmed. His 
1 827 and 1 828 tax bills were $ 1 .40 each year. 

In 1807 John Danieley, Sr. and his wife, 
Nancy, gave one and a half acres of land from 
their farm to the Methodist Episcopal Church 
(Frances Ashbury Bishop) for a meeting 
house, graveyard and spring. This is the pres- 
ent Bethel United Methodist Church. 

George Albert Danieley (born September 8, 
1 873, died May 23, 1 959) was a fifth genera- 
tion Danieley to farm the land. He inherited 
his father's share and this is now owned by the 
Jesse J. Danieley family. 

Jesse J. Danieley (born October 10, 1910, 
died February 10, 1987) and his grandson, 
Jesse Gwynn, farmed the land in 1986 and 
1987. Jesse Danieley died in February 1987. 
The grandson is fifteen years old and along 
with going to school, he raised a crop of oats 
and has 30 acres ready for fall planting. He is 
the eighth generation to farm the land. 

Jesse Danieley always farmed. Along with 
the Danieley grant, he owned and farmed 
land that his great-great grandfather, Chris- 
tian Iseley, farmed in the late 1700s. He was 
always interested in good farm machinery. He 
had his own blacksmith shop and did much of 
his own repairs. He operated a combine for 
forty-nine years, bought the first combine, 
first automatic hay baler, first tobacco tying 
machine and first irrigation outfit in the com- 

At the time of his death, he was president of 
Alamance County Farm Bureau, a member of 
the North Carolina Farm Bureau Board, vice- 
president of Alamance Farmers Mutual 
Insurance Company, a member of the North 
Carolina Board of Agriculture and on the 
board of the Alamance County Historical 

For fifty years, he collected artifacts. They 
are on display in his great-great grandfather's, 
Christian Iseley, cabin which is joined to the 
Jesse J. Danieley home. 

Jesse always said, "I never left home." He 
always lived in the home his father built in 
1902. The family plans to continue farming 
the land. Submitted by Rena Maude Danieley 


The first Freshwater on record was Rich- 
ard, born in 1 256. A later Richard who died in 
1614 was Lord of the Manor at Heybridge 
Hall, in Essex Co., England. The manor was 
restored and opened to tourists in 1973. The 
first one known to migrate to America was 
George, who came here on ship "Southey Lit- 
tleberry" in 1655. He settled in Eastville, 

The home of Edward K. Freshwater's grandparents, 
David and Annie Freshwater, built in c. 1836. 

Northampton, Virginia, on the Chesapeake 
Bay, not far north of Norfolk. 

John was born in Virginia in 1712 and died 
in 1 754. His son, William Armstead Freshwa- 
ter, lived in the Camden-Elizabeth city area. 
William Armstead and his family moved to 
Orange County in 1799. He is listed in "A 
History of Alamance" by Stockard as being 
the last purchaser from the Lord Granville 
grant. Records at Hillsboro show that at the 
time of his death he owned 1600 acres, lying 
on the banks of Mill Creek. Of this, the 35 
acres I own is all that remains in the Freshwa- 
ter name. 

The "Spoon" map ( 1 890) of Orange Coun- 
ty shows the home of Henry Freshwater and 
nearby is "Freshwater Shops." Two of the 
brothers operated the shops. One was a black- 
smith and the other was a wheelwright. The 
two of them took care of transportation prob- 
lems in the community. They made their own 
charcoal on the site. Until recent years most 
of the family were farmers or mechanics. 

Farming in those days was not specialized 
and consisted mostly of producing those 
things necessary to support the family and 
animals necessary for farm life, perhaps sell- 
ing the surplus, if any. 

My grandmother and my father or uncle 
made a trip every week to Haw River. We car- 
ried a wagon load of vegetables, fruit, milk 
and butter to sell house to house. On the way 
home we bought a week's supply of staples at 
Mr. Cameron Tew's store and then stopped at 
Mr. John Baker's store in Trollingwood. In 
addition to the trip, if lucky, I was able to get 
my uncle or father to buy a cone of ice cream 
or a bottle of Nehi or NuGrape at Mr. Baker's 

Another source of cash income was selling 
stove wood. My father believed that the 
horses should rest when not doing farm work, 
so he walked five miles to Graham and visited 
various homes until he found one that needed 
wood. He had a few regular customers. He 
then walked home and next day walked two 
miles to our wood lot. He cut and split the 
wood into pieces about fifteen inches long, 
loaded it on a wagon and delivered it all for a 
price of $3.50!! 

Another big day was my trips to Durham 
and Raleigh on the milk truck. One of the two 
or three dairies in our area belonged to Mr. 
Bob Long, near Alexander Wilson School. He 
had a herd of fine Jersey cows. The processors 
in Raleigh and Durham paid the producer 
according to the amount of butter fat on the 
milk. The more the better, because butter was 
so valued for cooking and baking. Jersey cows 
produced lower quantities but much higher 
test milk than Holsteins. 

Mr. Long's two sons, Earnest and Walter, 
did most of the farm work and Walter drove 
a Graham-Paige truck to Raleigh every day. 
Most farms had one or two cows for their own 
use and some produced five to fifteen gallons 
extra per day. There were no sanitation 
requirements but before we quit selling milk, 
the state required a TB test for cows. I often 
rode with Walter on his trip. When we 
unloaded at the Pine State Creamery he 
always came out with a large slab of ice cream 
for me. 

This land is now used mostly for a horse 
pasture. Submitted by E.K. Freshwater 


In 1874, Joseph Shaw Gibson began oper- 
ating the family farm which is located in the 
Melville township of Alamance County. The 
address is Route L, Mebane and the commu- 
nity is known as Hawfields. The farm consists 
of 78.5 acres of fertile red soil located in the 
Piedmont section of the state. Five springs are 
located on the property. They feed the stream 
that runs through the farm, making for a good 
source of water. 

Joseph Shaw Gibson and his second wife, Susan Gib- 
son on the Gibson farm in Alamance County. 

Four generations of the family have lived 
on and operated the farm. The operators of 
the farm have been Joseph Shaw Gibson 
(1874-1919); Robert William Gibson (1920- 
1 937); Lula Holmes Gibson Rowland ( 1 938- 
1 975); and Robert William Gibson, Jr. ( 1 976- 
to present). 

The original dwelling, still in use, was reno- 
vated in 1969 and still has much of the origi- 
nal clapboard heart pine exterior siding. The 
other buildings that exist today are the garage, 
pump house, smoke house, wash house, 
chicken house, green house, granary, cattle 
and hay barn, calf shed and equipment shed. 
The old sheep house was converted to a green 
house in 1976. Buildings which have been 
demolished on the farm include the hog hous- 
es, mill house, cellar house, brooder house, 
blacksmith shop and buggy shed. 

For many of the early years the farm opera- 
tion was self-sufficient. Hogs were raised for 
food and for market. Sheep were raised for 
food and for market. Wool from the sheep was 
sold and also used by the family for blankets 
and clothing. Cattle provided milk, butter 
and meat for the family and for market. 
Chickens provided eggs and meat for the fam- 
ily and for market. A vegetable garden, straw- 
berry patch and orchard provided the vegeta- 
bles and fruit needed. When sugar, salt, 
pepper, spices and other household items 
were needed, barter was employed by taking 
eggs, milk and butter to a community store in 
Trollingwood for exchange. Grain was raised 
for farm and family use and also for market. 

Until 1937, the farm had a mill house with 
a grist and hammermill. It was for family use 
and also provided services to other people in 
the community. 

The operation of the farm has changed 
drastically since its early years. The farm pres- 
ently produces orchard grass and fescue hay 


for use and sale. A herd of Charolais and Her- 
efords graze the rolling pastures and produce 
beef and calves for market. Part of the farm 
has been planted in trees for future harvest- 
ing. A vegetable garden and orchard are main- 
tained. Submitted by Robert William Gibson, Jr. 


Prior to 1875, Rufus W. Ingle operated a 
flour mill in southeast Guilford county. After 
the inheritance of the property from his 
father-in-law, he moved to the farm in Ala- 
mance County. He later acquired the proper- 
ties of several of the other children of Daniel 
Rich and other adjoining lands. 

His son, Ernest C. Ingle, married Bell Clen- 
denin and lived in the homestead and reared 
six children: Prince Ernest, Lura, Koy Clen- 
denin, Rufus Clyde, Leta, and Fred Dewitt. 
Ernest raised small grain for feed and seed 
and was later joined in a partnership by Koy, 
Clyde and Fred. This was accomplished 
despite the fact that he lost his right hand in a 
farm accident in 1905, when his first child 
was only two years old. 

Koy C. Ingle married Susan E. Amick in 
1935. This marriage resulted in three chil- 
dren: George Ernest, Edwin Coy, and Marga- 
ret Sue. Koy is still active on the farm and his 
son, George Ernest, is presently living on the 
farm. Submitted by Edwin Coy Ingle 


Isaac Sharpe (1795-1 878) owned the farm 
before and during the Civil War. His only 
child, Boston Sharpe, was killed in the war 
and Henry Green Nicholson (1838-1932), 
nephew of Isaac Sharpe, moved in with Isaac 
and cared for him until his death in 1878. 
Henry G. Nicholson, fought in the Civil War. 
He wrote a letter home saying that he would 
be so glad when the war ended so that he could 
get home and farm. He wanted to grow corn 
and wheat. At that time the farm contained 
384 acres with many wooded arp^c 

L to R: Howard A. Pickett, Charles Lynn Pickett, 
and Dennis Lynn Pickett, father, son, and grandson 

Henry G. and Margaret Vestal Nicholson 
had five children (three sons and two daugh- 
ters). Neither of the sons ever married. The 
daughters were willed 42 acres each which left 
300 acres for the sons. The sons lived at the 
homeplace and farmed the 300 acres until 
they sold 100+ acres. They continued to live 
at the homeplace and farm the remaining 
acreage until their deaths. The oldest died in 
1 942, the next in 1 964, and youngest in 1 969. 

Howard A. Pickett bought the farm in 1 966 
from the youngest of the three (Charles Nich- 

olson). Howard's son, Charles Lynn Pickett, 
is now doing some cattle and corn farming 
and some of the acreage is planted in Loblolly 
Pine Trees. 

The farmhouse has four rooms, a large hall- 
way and two porches. A bathroom was built in 
1 964. The house was built about 1 885. Before 
the house was built, a log house was used as 
the dwelling. This log house still stands and 
was used as a kitchen and living room until 
1958. No one knows the age of the log house. 

Submitted by Howard A. Pickett 


Our farm is located in the southern part of 
Alamance County. It is on the historical Cane 
Creek. Our farm consists of 200 acres which is 
mostly red clay with a small amount of white 
land where my great-grandfather used to grow 
tobacco. My great-grandfather was the son of 
Jonathon Zachary, born April 24, 1795 and 
died September 28, 1880. My grandfather 
was born December 19, 1855 and died Sep- 
tember 28, 1 924. He had eleven children (five 
boys and six girls). 

George Zachary 

He farmed for a living and was recorded as 
a Quaker preacher in 1 902. He never received 
any money for preaching, but preached for 
the love of God and mankind. 

He first lived in a log house that was located 
on a branch with a spring. All of the children 
were born in this house except two. The pres- 
ent house which is a two-story frame house 
was built in 1901. During that time, cotton 
was the money crop and a small amount of 
tobacco. The other crops were corn, wheat, 
oats and enough hay for livestock. A cane 
patch for molasses and a large garden brought 
very little income. 

Six of my grandfather's children attended 
Guilford College and three of them graduat- 
ed. It cost very little to go to college; since my 
grandfather was a Quaker preacher and Guil- 
ford College was a Quaker college, they got 
their tuition free. 

I had one uncle that they called great in Ala- 
mance County. His name was Tom Zachary. 
He went directly from Guilford College to the 
major league. He pitched from 1918 until 
1 936. During that time he won three games in 
the World Series. While he was pitching for 
the Washington Senators, the famous Babe 
Ruth hit his 60th home run off him. He would 
send money back home to help with the farm. 

My father, George Zachary, operated the 
farm from 1930 until 1960. I started operat- 
ing the farm in the year of 1 960. At that time 
I had forty cows and raised corn, soybeans 
and grain for grinding feed. 

Now my wife, Janet, and I operate the farm 
under a much larger scale. We have added 
more cows and also a poultry farm which con- 
sists of 58,800 layers. We have two children 
who help when they have time. Our son is a 
sophomore at Elon College, he also is a base- 
ball pitcher. Our daughter is a freshman in 
high school. We are hoping that the farm stays 
in the family and operates another century. 
We have enjoyed farming and hope to contin- 
ue to do so. Submitted by George Zachary Jr. 

Alexander County 


The Alexander farm has been in the posses- 
sion of the Alexander family since 1 760 when 
a land grant was acquired from Lord Granvil- 
le of England. The four hundred acre land 
grant located on Elk Shoals Creek in Alexan- 
der County has been in the Alexander posses- 
sion continuously for six generations. Addi- 
tional acres have been added to the farm. 

Atwell and Pauline Hill Alexander in front of their 

Atwell Alexander, a former member of the 
North Carolina State Board of Agriculture for 
eighteen years, is the present owner along 
with his two sisters. 

Atwell owned and operated a poultry farm 
business here for forty-six years along with 
beef cattle. In 1980, he retired from poultry 
but continues to raise beef cattle. 

The Alexander farm was one of the early 
tree farms in North Carolina and continues to 
be so operated. 

Atwell's father, James William Alexander, 
operated the acreage primarily as a cotton 
farm with corn and small grain grown for the 
use of the farm tenants and their livestock. 

During the depression years of the 1930s, 
James William passed away and the farm 
slowly changed to poultry, beef cattle, and 
timber production under Atwell Alexander. 

The Alexander family looks forward to the 
time when the three grandchildren will con- 
trol the Alexander farm. 

Submitted by Atwell Alexander 


On January 7, 1845, Franklin B. Reese (b. 
May 24, 1821 d. Oct. 15, 1901) bought 198 
acres from Wiley Gaither for $400.00. The 
land was located in Caldwell County at that 
time but, later, in 1847, became Alexander 

A la ma nee — A lexander — A lleghany 

County. Then, in 1870, Franklin B. Reese 
bought 1 00 acres from his brother-in-law, Elie 
Dela, for $200.00. Later, in 1879, he let his 
two sons have 50 acres each. The younger of 
the two sons, William Jacob Reese, was only 
1 5 years old at the time. On March 1 4, 1 895, 
Franklin B. Reese deeded William J. Reese (b. 
May 23, 1864-d. Jan. 4, 1938) 162 acres and 
the youngest daughter, Jane Mays, 20 acres. 
Along with this deed, a lifetime right went to 
his father. On May 4, 1935, William J. Reese 
sold Clarence Reese (b. February 26, 1913)8 
acres for $200.00. Around 1940, the rest of 
the place was divided between William 
Reese's children. Fifty acres were left to Molly 
Reese (b. Jan. 11,1 879-d. Oct. 31,1 973) as a 
dowery which was later divided between her 
eight surviving children after her death in 
1973. Of these 50 acres, my father, Clarence 
Reese, got 6.5 acres more. 

On April 3, 1981, my father, Clarence, 
deeded to me, Coy (b. Sept. 23,1 944) 3 1 acres 
on which he has a lifetime right. On this land, 
my wife, Wanda, and I own and operate a very 
successful dairy farm where we have a fine 
herd of Jersey cows — approximately 90 
milking cows and 60 heifers. Many of our 
cows receive top production and butterfat 
awards of which we are very proud. Much of 
our time is dedicated to caring for the dairy, 
but we still have time to spend with our two 
daughters, Candace, age 3, and Joy, age 2. As 
it is obvious, farming has been a part of our 
family in years past and hopefully will be for 
years to come. Submitted by Coy Reese 


In November 1871, Noah Sipe (September 
27, 1822-December 29, 1899), bought 265 
acres of land from Eli Deal for $650. 

In December, 1 883, Noah Sipe sold his son, 
Monroe (March 30, 1851-March 30, 1934), 
42 acres on which he built a house and raised 
six sons and Five daughters. One daughter, 
Fannie, is still living and celebrated her 1 00th 
birthday in October, 1986. 

As the years passed, Monroe added more 
land to his original 42 and was able to leave 
each of his eleven children and one grand- 
daughter, 1 3 acres or there about. 

Monroe's daughter, Mollie Sipe Reese 
(January 11,1 879-October 31,1 973), inherit- 
ed 1 3 acres of this land in 1 927 and sold it to 
hergrandson. Dale P. Reese, in 1 970. In 1 974, 
Dale bought 13 more acres of the Sipe land 
from Marie Sipe Teague, a granddaughter of 
Monroe Sipe. Then in 1985, Dale bought 13 
acres of the Sipe land from the Ida Sipe Jolly 
estate. Ida was also a granddaughter of Mon- 
roe Sipe. 

The majority of these 39 acres and adjoin- 
ing 25 acres are farmed as grassland. 

Dale operates a sawmill business and most 
of the grassland is rented to his brother, Coy, 
who is a dairy farmer. 

Submitted by Dale P. Reese 


A tract of land was purchased by Vandiver 
Washington Teague and his father-in-law, 
Simon Cline, in 1879, and additional tracts 
were bought in the 1880s, located in Witten- 
burg Township, Alexander County, near 
Mountain Creek. 

The Vandiver W. Teague family about 1902. 

So that a spring would be included in Van's 
tract, an irregular line was drawn between the 
two tracts. Before building a house, Van 
found a stronger spring elsewhere. 

After cutting trees, sawing and hand dress- 
ing the lumber. Van built a two-room house 
on a hill near the stronger spring in 1 886. Pri- 
or to 1 896 he added four more rooms. Some- 
one has lived in the house continuously to the 

A well was dug in 1914 and the porch was 
extended around the well. Later a pump was 
installed and the well was left open. Many still 
enjoy drawing water from it. REA began sup- 
plying power to this area in 1 948, which made 
more conveniences possible in the home. 

Van and Lydia Cline Teague were the par- 
ents of Leroy, Minnie, Charlie, Ola, Everette, 
Alice, Bertha, and Lelia. 

On the farm Van and his family grew cot- 
ton, wheat, rye, corn, vegetables, apples, and 
animals to provide food and farm labor. 

In 1923, Lelia and her husband, Theodore 
Benjamin Wagner, moved into the house with 
her father and took over most of the farming 
responsibilities. When Van died in 1931, 
Lelia and Theodore inherited forty-two acres 
and bought twenty-five acres from the other 
heirs. When Theodore became disabled in 
1970, neighbors rented the farm through 

Theodore died October 1977, and Lelia, 
February 1 987. The land has now been divid- 
ed among their children: Emilyn, Rachel, 
Frank, Carl and Oren. Emilyn Wagner and 
Rachel Wagner inherited the house and twen- 
ty-seven acres of land. They will continue liv- 
ing in the house and gardening the same spot 
used since 1 886. 

Submitted by Miss Emilyn U 'agner 

Alleghany County 


Joseph Doughton was the progenitor of the 
North Carolina branch of the Doughton fami- 
ly. Around 1791 or 1 792, he became a mem- 
ber of a surveying party and was sent to clarify 
the line between Virginia and North Caroli- 
na. As he stood on a ridge above the New Riv- 
er, which later became his home, he probably 
had various thoughts concerning his ances- 

Joseph became ill with typhoid fever and 
was taken in by Lieutenant George Reeves 
and his family. He fell in love with their 
daughter, Mary, and later married her. After 
his marriage, he decided to settle on a ridge 
above New River. The oldest deed found in 
his name was State of North Carolina land 


Charles H. Dough ton (Dec. 23, 180 3- Jan. 28, 1903) 

grant #464 for 1 00 acres for 1 00 shillings dat- 
ed 17th of June 1798. 

In 1 800 the federal census showed the fami- 
ly to consist of three boys under 10, one girl 
under 10, Joseph and Mary, and one slave. In 
1810, there were four sons, five daughters, 
Joseph and Mary, and three slaves. Apparent- 
ly Joseph was a well to do farmer and listed as 
a big real estate man. His name appears on 
nineteen different deeds on file dated 
between 1798 and 1830. 

Among Joseph and Mary Doughton's chil- 
dren was Charles Horton born December 23, 
1803. He was the great grandfather of Dick 
Doughton now living on the farm in Alleg- 
hany County. 

Joseph Doughton, the pioneer of the 
Doughton family in North Carolina died July 
1 1, 1832. 

Charles Horton Doughton married Marga- 
ret Cox Reeves and they had three children, 
Fleming, Jesse and Joseph Bain, who was the 
grandfather of Dick Doughton. 

Uncle Charlie as he was called was elected 
county surveyor of Ashe County before either 
Watauga or Alleghany were created. He was 
one of the commissioners who established the 
boundaries of Alleghany County and assisted 
in selecting both Boone and Sparta as the sites 
for the respective counties. The First Method- 
ist Church in Alleghany County was orga- 
nized at his home and one of his sons, Joseph 
Bain, became a Methodist minister. He died 
January 28, 1903. 

Joseph Bain was born in 1840 and died in 
1911. He married Martha A. Gentry and they 
had four children. Joseph Marvin, one of the 
sons, was the father of Dick Doughton, pres- 
ently living on the farm. 

Dick Doughton married Ella Edwards. 
They had three children who were raised on 
the farm. Richard L. Doughton now a practic- 
ing attorney in Alleghany County, Susan 
Evans, a teacher in the county school system, 
and Joseph Edwards Doughton, assistant 
branch manager for Ford Motor Credit Cor- 
poration in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 

Joseph Marvin, father of Dick Doughton, 
married Pocohontas Reeves and they lived on 
the farm and raised five children. They 
moved to Sparta in order for the children to 
attend school. 

This farm is nestled in a curve of the New 
River now recognized as the second oldest 
river in the world and in the heart of the beau- 

Alleghany — Anson 

tiful Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Submitted by W. Dick Doughton 


This Laurel Springs, North Carolina Cen- 
tury Farm has been a part of Alleghany Coun- 
ty since its establishment in 1859. About 
1 850, Pinkney Lewis bought part of this prop- 
erty from Abram Evans. He later shared it 
with his stepson, J. Horton Doughton. They 
added more acreage in a short time. 

Home and part of the farm in Alleghany County that 
belongs to Elizabeth Moxley. 

J. Horton Doughton married Rebecca 
Jones in 1 855. They made their home in a log 
house on this property. By the time Horton 
went to serve in the Civil War, three children 
were born. Pinkney Lewis helped Rebecca 
maintain the home and kept the farm going 
with cattle, sheep and a few hogs. 

After a year of service, Horton was wound- 
ed and came back to Alleghany as captain of 
the Home Guard. In 1 872 they built the pres- 
ent home where they reared eight children. 

Horton purchased a tract of land from a 
Mr. Anderson on the crest of the Blue Ridge 
Mountains. Cattle were grazed and hay pro- 
duced during the summer on this property. 
Years later, the mountain property was given 
to two sons, Robert and Frank. They kept this 
land for years, using it as their father had. In 
1934, the land was sold to the National Park 
Service and is now part of the Blue Ridge 
Parkway. At present, this is known as Dough- 
ton Park. 

At the death of Horton Doughton in 1905, 
his son, Frank, inherited part of the home- 
place at Laurel Springs. He maintained this 
property, using it for growing corn, rye and 
grasses for livestock on the farm. 

In 1950, Frank Doughton sold the farm. 
Fifty acres of the homeplace, including the 
home, were sold to Dr. Robert Miller, a 
grandson of J. Horton Doughton. In 1952, 
Dr. Miller sold the property to his sister Eliza- 
beth Miller Moxley and husband Thomas. 
Since Mr. Moxley's death in 1964, Elizabeth 
has maintained and preserved the two-story 
white frame house surrounded by maples, 
bordering N.C. 1 8. The acreage is kept in use 
by grazing cattle, making hay and growing 

The family farm will be maintained by the 
Moxley Family for generations to come. 

Submitted by Mrs. Elizabeth M. Moxley 


William Henry Weaver was born 1853 at 
Scottville, Alleghany County, North Caroli- 
na. His lineage has been traced to Joshua 
Weaver, who gave a deed to William Weaver, 
October 28, 1 789, for 1 50 acres on New Riv- 
er. This became known as Weaver Ford in 
present day Ashe County. William served in 
the Revolutionary War. 

William Henrv Weaver homestead, Piney Creek, 


William Weaver Jr., was born 1787. He 
died in Alleghany County in 1876. His home 
on New River in Alleghany County, built 
about the middle of the nineteenth century, is 
on the National Register of Historic Places. 
At this writing the land and home are being 

William Weaver, Jr.'s son, Nathan, was a 
large land owner in Alleghany County and a 
miller. He was born in Ashe County. Nathan's 
son, William Henry Weaver, bought approxi- 
mately 46 acres of land from his father in 
1 88 1 for one hundred dollars. The deed states 
that "an acre be used for a public school while 
it is used for that purpose." That school was 
Rocky Ridge School. Also, "that 1/8 acre be 
used for a burying ground where the graves 
are." Those graves were that of a wife and 
daughter of Nathan's, both having died in 

William Henry Weaver's son, George, born 
1899 married but never had any children. In 
1978, a niece, Helen Weaver Martell, bought 
approximately fifteen acres of the remaining 
twenty acres left of the William Henry Wea- 
ver farm from her Uncle George, and deeded 
it to her sons, Phillip and James Martell. That 
included the family home and cemetery 
where Nathan Weaver and thirty-two of his 
descendants are buried. That cemetery is well 
maintained today by the generosity of a host 
of living descendants. 

This land is in the Piney Creek section of 
Alleghany County and recently has been used 
for grazing cattle. 

Submitted by Mrs. Helen Weaver Martell 

Anson County 


The original owner of the Ingram Century 
Farm was Benjamin Ingram, a descendant of 
Joseph Ingram who came to northeastern 
Anson County from Culpepper County, Vir- 
ginia, in 1769. Sometime before 1880 Benja- 
min bought several parcels of land down the 

Anson — Ashe 

Pee Dee River near his birthplace. This was 
the beginning of the Century Farm. 

Today, the Century Farm, in four tracts, is 
divided among the six great-grandchildren of 
Benjamin Ingram; namely, Benjamin Wall 
Ingram, Jr., Thomas Jeremiah Ingram, Jr., 
Nancy Ingram Landen, William Lemuel 
Ingram, Jr., Margaret Ingram Bailey and 
Mary Alice Ingram Busch. 

Principal farmers of the land during the late 
1 880s and early 1 900s were Thomas Jeremi- 
ah Ingram and Charles Nelms Ingram, sons of 
Benjamin and Nancy Jane Bennett Ingram. 

Later, the four sons of Thomas Jeremiah 
Ingram inherited the farm. While Benjamin 
Wall Ingram and Charles Nelms Ingram had 
other primary interests, William Lemuel 
Ingram and Thomas Jeremiah Ingram, Sr. (II) 
directed the farming operation. They were 
joined in 1 945 by Thomas Jeremiah Ingram, 
Jr. He has continued to farm since then and 
lives on the farm with his wife, Helen Lamm 

Benjamin Wall Ingram, Jr. inherited the 
old homeplace known as both Ingram Moun- 
tain and The Mountain. The house was 
restored in the 1 960's. 

The farm borders on Carolina Power and 
Light Company's Blewett Falls Lake, which is 
formed by a dam across the Pee Dee River. 
Part of the farm is like a peninsula in the lake 
and on this section is the site of Anson Coun- 
ty's First courthouse. 

Some of the farm is very hilly with hard- 
wood forests. The land that is in pines has 
been managed for timber production. For 
many years cotton was the main crop; howev- 
er, the farm has produced corn, soybeans and 
lespedeza for both seed and feed as well as 
tobacco, coastal hay and other crops. Cows, 
sheep, hogs and ponies have been raised at 
various times. In recent years production has 
been mostly cattle, corn, small grains and 
beans. Submitted by T. Ingram, Jr. 


Many years ago in the township of Anson- 
ville, the northern part of Anson County, a 
family of early Americans settled, the Tysons. 
Much of the land in the little community near 
Ansonville known as "Jack's Branch" was in 
woodland. John Tyson, the original settler, 
son of Colonel John Tyson of Pitt County 
came to Anson County around 1 775. He is 
now buried in Tyson Cemetery in upper 
Anson County. 

Merrtt Pearl Tyson and his son, Marvin L. Tyson. 

From John Tyson came many descendants 
who owned land in Ansonville Township. A 
direct descendant of this man was Merrit 
Pearl Tyson (1899-1974), son of Robert 
Franklin Tyson (1860-1922). He is the origi- 
nal in the direct ownership of this tract. Mer- 
rit Pearl Tyson married Ethel Maner Tyson. 
Of this union there were ten children, twenty- 
three grandchildren, twelve great grandchil- 
dren and one great-great grandchild. The old- 
est of the ten children, Marvin L. Tyson, now 
holds the title to the Century Farm of the 

In the early days much of the acreage was in 
woodland. Tysons made their living farming, 
cutting down trees, removing stumps and cre- 
ating "new ground." For years, the earlier 
generations grew soybeans, cotton, tobacco, 

Today a new type of farming has begun. 
With the aid of the US Department of Agri- 
culture and the N.C. Forest Service, tree 
farming is going strong. Trees again cover the 
acreage where so many Tysons have made 
their home. 

The old homestead still remains with two 
elderly cousins residing there. Up the road 
nestled in planted pines is a rustic cabin, 
owned by the youngest of Pearl and Ethel 
Tyson's children. It is to this cabin that the 
direct descendants, the nine living children, 
their spouses, the twenty-three grandchil- 
dren, and the twelve great grandchildren 
come on family gatherings. This is home! 
began in Anson County in 1 775 is now spread 
overall of Anson County, much of North Car- 
olina, and many places in the United States. 
Colonel John Tyson would be proud of his 
many descendants. 

Submitted by Marvin L. Tyson 

Ashe County 


Captain John Cox, who had been wounded 
in the Battle of Weitzel's Mill in North Caroli- 
na during the Revolutionary War, left his 
home in Virginia, where he had commanded 
one of two forts on a ridge at the mouth of 
Peach Bottom Creek overlooking New River. 

About 1785, he settled in what was then 
Wilkes County, North Carolina on Cranberry 
Creek, a branch of New River. He soon 
acquired a plantation of some 3000 acres 
alongthe present boundary of Ashe and Alleg- 
hany Counties. 

When the 1815 tax list was taken, he was 
the wealthiest man in Ashe, owning 8,188.5 
acres of land. Almost all of this acreage was on 
New River and/or its tributaries. 

Captain Cox died December 24, 181 8, and 
his two sons and six daughters settled the 
estate by means of quitclaim deeds. James 
and Anne Cox Baker accepted land in the 
Creston Community where the second post 
office in the county had been established. 
Their inheritance included the following 
tracts: the Three Fork Tract — 616 acres, the 
North Fork Tract — 300 acres, the Nelson 
Camp Tract — 400 acres, the Lane Tract — 
50 acres — a total of 1366 acres. They were 
also given 640 acres on Horse Creek. 

James and Anne Cox Baker reared a large 
family and owned a large amount of land on 
the South Fork of New River. It was their son, 

Zachariah Baker, who settled on the Three 
Fork Tract, the Baker Farm. 

For a few years he lived in the double log 
house built by William McClain, an early 
explorer. Later he built his own log home fac- 
ing New River and it was from that house that 
he went to the state legislature three terms in 
the late 1820s. 

After the deaths of James and Anne Cox 
Baker, in 1843 and 1845 respectively, their 
properties were divided and Zachariah Baker 
kept some fine bottom land, including where 
his house had been built. He bought 275 acres 
from Colonel Jesse and Eleanor Baker Ray 
adjoining the other property. This was later 
deeded to Marshall and Mary Eller Baker, 
with Zachariah and Zilphia Dickson Baker 
having life time rights. Zachariah Baker 
farmed this land with slave labor prior to 

At Marshall Baker's death in 1936, the farm 
passed to his youngest son, Robert Baker, who 
died 1 8 years later and it was inherited by his 
daughter, Eleanor Baker Reeves. Thus mak- 
ing the beautiful meadowland actually a 
"Two Century" ownership. 

Submitted by Mrs. Jesse A. Reeves 


My great-great grandfather, Willaim 
Blevins, was born in October of 1 798. He and 
his wife, Rebecca Stilt Blevins, built a log 
house on Long Shoal Creek in Ashe County, 
about two miles from the North Fork of the 
New River. William heired and bought 
approximately 700 acres of land. They raised 
seven children (four boys and three girls). 

The William Blevins family — Front row: Effie; 
Vilintie; Thomas Newton, and wi fe, Rebecca Luan- 
da Blevins, and baby Spencer; Sarah (Sally) Brown; 
Elizabeth Wyatt and children; and Polly B. Blevins. 
Second row: Ranson and William A. Blevins; and 
Wyatt and Brown children. Back row: Gaither Oli- 
ver; Coy Winton and wife, Mae M. Blevins; Elihue 
and Delia Brown and baby, Edmond Brown; Ben 
Blevins; Jacob Brown; Matilda Blevins; Ida and Pol- 
ly Brown. 

A dam was built across the creek and a 
water mill was constructed to grind the grain 
they grew. A blacksmith shop was built, as 
they had to make the tools they used. A one 
room school was built on the farm before 
1 862 and another one at a later date. 

When the boys were grown and married 
each was given or bought about 1 20 acres of 
the original farm. A log house was built on 
each of their farms. Their names were Jacob 
Elijah, Robert, and Hugh. 

Robert Blevins served in the Civil War. He 
was taken prisoner and held in a camp at 
Elmira, New York. 

Hugh, my great grandfather, married Polly 
Brown, December 14, 1852. They raised four 


children, three girls and a boy. Hugh was 
killed in the Civil War at Chancellorsville, 
Virginia. May 3, 1863. He served in the 37th 
N.C. Regiment commanded by Colonel Bar- 

My grandfather, Thomas Newton Blevins, 
was only two years old when his father Hugh 
was killed. In 1 888 when he was twenty-seven 
years old, he bought his sisters share of the 
1 1 acre farm and built more rooms to the old 
log house. He later bought mountain land 
located on the Little Phoenix Mountain, until 
he owned 425 acres. 

Thomas Newton married Rebecca Lucinda 
Brown and they raised nine children. On this 
farm they grew corn, oats, wheat, hay, dairy 
cows, beef cattle and sheep. Flax was also 
grown to make their linen cloth. They sheared 
the sheep, carded, spun, dyed the wool, and 
weaved it into cloth for their clothing, blan- 
kets and coverlets. In the summer of 1943 
while the sheep were on pasture, dogs killed 
50 of them in one night. My grandfather did 
not keep sheep after that. 

About 1905 my father, Gaither Oliver 
Blevins, and his father, Thomas Newton 
Blevins, operated a country store near their 
home. My father hauled the merchandise on 
a wagon from the nearest railway station at 
Marion, Virginia, which is forty-five miles 
away. They also kept the post office "Blevins, 
North Carolina" at the store. 

Thomas Newton, my grandfather, and his 
sons operated a sawmill to saw the timber that 
grew on his mountain land and for the neigh- 
bors. Tragedy struck the family again on Jan- 
uary 5, 1 905, when the steam engine used for 
power for the sawmill blew up. The explosion 
killed four men including his son Edgar and 
wounded three others. My grandfather's leg 
was broken in two places. Dr. James Larkin 
Ballou lived three miles away across the New 
River, but he came every day for two weeks 
riding horseback across the frozen river to 
doctor the wounded. 

I own 1 80 acres of the original tract of land 
and 140 more nearby. I raise Shorthorn and 
Hereford cattle as my ancestors did, but it is 
quite different from the almost self- 
sustaining farm they operated in three- 
fourths of the last century and first quarter of 
this century. They grew and made almost 
everything they had on their farm. 

Almost all the land of the original tract is 
still owned by the descendants of William 
Blevins even after 1 70 years. 

Submitted by G. Earl Blevins 


With the passing of some 200 years, the 
waters of Cranberry Creek still flow through 
the farm of John Cox, grandson of the fron- 
tierland farmer of 1780, but now of lesser 
dimensions. My father used to say he was 
proud of his 250 acres, the last remaining par- 
cel of the more extensive acreage of former 

Our methods of farming were the horse 
and plow; the drill, to drill in the fertilizer in 
the now depleted soil; the mowing machine 
and rake, later modernized to the drag and 
baler with main implements, the 20-foot 
stacking forks and toten poles. Crops pro- 
duced were corn, hay, oats and wheat, and a 
threshing machine driven by four white 


A member of the Cox family with her horse. 

horses to thresh the small grain for feed for the 
livestock through the winter. 

My father would remark sometimes of a 
"curse" on the Cox land, with which the writ- 
er hereof does not contend as she thinks she 
has had her part of it; for example, one occa- 
sion that of being put out of a very fine posi- 
tion soon after Pearl Harbor, and in a manner 
quite comparable. 

The Cox family was granted a baronetcy by 
Queen Anne, the first baronet being Sir Rich- 
ard Cox, 1 706, becoming extinct in 1873 with 
the 12th baronet. 

The 3000 acre plantation of 1780 also 
became extinct. The wide and extensive 
boundaries of the 8 1 ,000 frontierland acreage 
has become nearly extinct. The supposed 
"curse" is probably still around as it may have 
had its origin with our remote but distin- 
guished ancestors, The "Plantagenet Kings of 
France," of the eleventh century. The Coxes 
fought in the Crusades, being followers of 
King Richard. Submitted by Clyde Cox 


John Cox, seventh son of an Irish parlia- 
mentarian, migrated to America, planted his 
stakes at the mouth of Cranberry Creek in the 
Peach Bottom Mountains of North Carolina 
where he lived on his 3,000 acre planatation 
until his death Christmas Day, 1818 (cause of 
death not listed, but probably from too much 
gourmet — too much inbibing). 

His land holdings were rather vast and 
extensive, the Alleghany County historical 
society listed him as owning 81,000 acres. 
One of his holdings was "Negro Mountain" in 
Ashe County, now a historical site, but 
renamed Mt. Jefferson. It derived its original 
name from the era when Negro slaves made 
their long treks from the Deep South to the 
land of freedom, hiding in that mountain. 

As to the methods of frontierland farming, 
or crops produced, we do not know but it can 
be surmised that the tall timbers were cut with 
axe and brawn, the rich soil plowed with the 
ox, though Captain John Cox (Indian Cap- 
tive, Feb.-Aug. 1757, soldier in the French 
and Indian wars, officer of the Revolution, 
frontiersman), was known to ride a fast horse. 
Legend says he would ride his horse through 
his fields, striking his slaves with his whip; but 
at his death he had freed some and provided 
for others. 

He also maintained a fort on the border of 
North Carolina and Virginia for protection 
from the Indians. The Cox family, though 
large land owners, were not cavaliers, but 
were pioneers and endured the hardships and 
privations of the frontiersmen. To illustrate 
this, our grandfather on arising in the morn- 
ing would walk down the hill, break a hole in 
the ice in the branch and wash his face and 
hands. When I would ask him "What did he 
want for supper," he would invariably reply 
"mush and milk." But it did him well as he 
lived out the century, 1826-1926, superbly 
erect with good eyesight and never used a 
cane. Submitted by Miss Clyde Cox 


This farm is located in Ashe County, near 
Alleghany and Wilkes Counties. The whole 
area was Wilkes County when the Ketchum 
family took up land from the State in the 
1 700s around the time of the Revolutionary 
War. It was not easy to live in these mountains 
then, nor is it easy now. 

The century farm of Sara Scarborough Fisher. 

Frederick Ketchum had six children, and 
all of them preceded him in death. Sarah, his 
daughter, was the only one to have children. 
Her husband, Loggins Woody, was killed in 
the Civil War, as was her brother, George 
Ketchum. Frederick kept the family together 
and lived until 1900, leaving this land to his 

Most of it has been sold out of the family, 
but three cousins still own small portions. The 
ones who left the area still come back to visit 
or to die. The family has inherited a love for 
the pure spring water, the fresh air and the 

Sara S. Fisher is the seventh generation to 
live here, and she hopes her children will keep 
the faith. The wild flowers, the beauty and the 
tranquility are unsurpassed. May it stay for- 
ever thus! Submitted by Sara S. Fisher 


Martin Gambill settled in Ashe County in 
1 777. He came from Culpepper, Virginia, by 
way of the North Carolina Piedmont. While 
below the mountain, he met and married 
Nancy Nail. They made their way into the 
mountains, and when Martin saw the land on 
the South Fork of New River, he told Nancy 
that this was where he wanted to live. Martin 
soon returned to the low country as a Captain 
in the revolutionary forces to do battle with 
British forces at Kings Mountain, and many 
of the mountain men who fought there were 


Martin Gambill's grave. 

rounded up when Martin made a "Paul 
Revere" like ride during which two horses 
died from exhaustion. 

After the battle Martin returned home to 
get on with the business of clearing land, rais- 
ing livestock, and rearing a family. One of the 
first tasks was to build a school, the first in the 
county. It is said that all of his children could 
read and write, even the girls! The desire for 
education must have been passed on because 
we know that his descendants include at least 
one judge, three attorneys, and seven doctors. 
Martin served both as the first sheriff and as 
the first state senator from Ashe County. He 
was buried in 1 8 1 2 in his backyard. 

William Gambill, Martin's son, married 
Cynthia Cox and sired James who married 
Lucy Reeves. Just across the creek and down 
the hill from Martin's house, James built a log 
house with two fine rock chimneys which still 
stand today. When James' son was killed in 
the Civil War, James took a wagon and 
brought the body back to be buried on Gam- 
bill land. The trip took three weeks. 

Fortunately, James had another son, Pres- 
ton, who married Elizabeth Colvard. Preston 
moved down the river and up the valley to 
build his own house which is still in use today. 
Preston continued the business of raising live- 
stock. Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, even turkeys 
could be found on the farm. James William 
was born there. 

J.W. Gambill married Delphia Halsey and 
continued to farm the land. He built a house 
on the river but later moved to the town of 
West Jefferson. He served as mayor of the 
town as well as chairman of the Ashe County 
Board of Education. Nevertheless, he was 
always a farmer, growing burley tobacco and 
bringing the first purebred Angus cattle to the 
county and serving as Chairman of the Agri- 
cultural Stabilization Board. 

J.W. had one son, James Gwyn, who mar- 
ried Edna Poole. Gwyn continued to farm the 
land and served four years as president of the 
North Carolina Aberdeen Angus Association. 
He was also on the board of the Southeastern 
Aberdeen Angus Association for several 
years. In addition to farming, Gwyn started 
Gambill Oil Company, Inc. and served as 
chairman of Ashe County Memorial Hospital 
for many years. 

Currently the farm has good grazing land 
and much of it is set in pine timber with some 
devoted to pine seedlings. Today the family 
farm is owned by the heirs of J. Gwyn Gambill 
as the Martin Gambill Farm, Inc. 

Submitted by Jim Gambill 


The farm is part of 700 acres purchased by 
my sixth generation ancestor. Captain John 
Cox in 1806 from Robert Hall. The land was 
originally granted to James Fletcher by the 
state of North Carolina in 1779, who subse- 
quently sold it to Robert Hali in 1799. It 
remained in the family until after 1822 when 
Captain John Cox's daughter, Sarah Cox, 
wife of Zacharia Baker, inherited it. It subse- 
quently passed into the hands of Richard 
Gentry about 1831. 

The Hurt-Cox farm home is on the National Regis- 
ter of Historic Places. 

In 1 838 Mr. Gentry sold 400 acres, in three 
tracts to James M. Nye. Either Mr. Nye did 
not complete payment or he sold the farm 
back to Mr. Gentry, since Richard Gentry 
sold the same three tracts to George Bowers in 
1 843. In 1 853 the farm, three tracts, was pur- 
chased by a fourth generation ancestor, Dr. 
Aras Bishop Cox. (No relation to Captain 
John Cox). 

Dr. A.B. Cox, while serving as Clerk of 

Dr. Cox's daughter, Mary Jane Cox, mar- 
ried the great-grandson of Captain John Cox, 
Solomon V. Cox, in 1 868 and he continued to 
operate the farm until his death in 1913. His 
farming activities were about the same as Dr. 
Cox's which were best suited to a mountain 
farm. When tobacco became a cash crop in 
Ashe County, he refused to have any grown on 
his farm feeling that it was detrimental to 
both one's health and to one's pocketbook. It 
is interesting to note that Dr. Cox did not 
deed the farm to his son-in-law until 1901, 
thirty-two years after he went west. 

The farmhouse, now standing, was placed 
on the National Register of Historic Places in 
1976. It is believed that the original four 
rooms were built by James M. Nye in the 
1830s. Four rooms were added in 1872 by 
Solomon Cox. 

When Solomon Cox's estate was divided 
among the five living children in 1914, his 
youngest daughter, Ruth A. Cox, received the 
homeplace and 86 acres. Her sister and hus- 
band, Will Bledsoe, rented and operated the 
farm for her until after Ruth Cox's marriage 
to Alfred Burman Hurt in 1917. Mr. Hurt, a 
school teacher, principal, and then superin- 
tendent of Ashe County School, continued to 
operate the farm until his death in 1 96 1 . As in 
the past, he raised cattle, hay and grain crops 
along with fruit. 

In 1962, Alfred B. Hurt, Jr. purchased the 
farm from his mother following his father's 
death. He has continued to operate the farm 
to date. The farm activity is now entirely 
devoted to raising beef cattle along with 
expansion of the orchard to a wide variety of 
fruit. Submitted by Alfred B. Hurt, Jr. 


The farm was first obtained through a Fed- 

The W. Jones farm, over 100 years old. 

Superior Court, Ashe County, a Methodist eral Land Grant by Isiah Jones. In the begin- 

minister, and medical doctor, farmed the ning there was 1300 acres and when Isiah 

place in Nathan's Creek Community, Ashe Jones died, the farm was divided and William 

County until 1 869. He raised beef cattle, hay, Cicero Jones, son of Isiah, inherited at least 

small grain, corn and fruit. During this period 250 acres, maybe more. When William Cic- 

he added another 1 00 acres increasing the size ero died the farm was divided among his chil- 

of the farm to 500 acres. He also operated a dren and my father, William Edwin Jones, 

small general country store. In 1869, about a inherited 40 acres and bought the rest of the 

year after his only daughter married, Dr. Cox, 250 acres from his brothers and sisters, 

his wife, and three sons left North Carolina William Edwin Jones obtained the farm in 

and moved to Missouri and later to Purdum, 1914 when his father died. William Edwin 

Nebraska. Jones married Mollie Elizabeth Baldwin and 


they have made their home on this farm since 
that time. 

William E. and Mollie made a living on the 
farm by raising tobacco, beans, corn, and 
dairy cows. They sold milk for many years to 
the Ashe County Cheese Company, the cows 
were fed corn from the farm and hay which 
they cut and stacked themselves with the use 
of two horses. Some of the hay rakes are still 
on the farm. William E. had his own electrici- 
ty at one time from the use of a water wheel 
and a generator he built himself. 

Mollie picked lots of berries and canned 
everything they needed to eat. William E. 
Jones died in 1981 and the farm is now in my 
name, as I was the only daughter. It is now list- 
ed under Mary Sue Jones D'Alcamo. My son 
is also living on the farm and is growing 
Christmas trees. It is now known as the Silas 
Creek Tree Farm. Submitted by Sue D'Alcamo 


Since at least 1829, four generations of 
Millers have been landowners and farmers in 
the northwest section of Ashe County near 
Lansing. In the Staggs Creek and Long Branch 
Community, known as The Miller Hollar, Eli 
Miller and wife, Mary Miller, first owners of 
around 250 acres of land on the upper part 

The Miller home. 

built a log house along with barns and other 

Eli raised corn, oats, potatoes, and cattle for 
milk. Then, in 1883 the farm was taken over 
by Monroe Miller and wife, Amanda Miller. 
They built a two story log house one half mile 
down the hollar, where Monroe, son of Eli 
Miller, continued to farm this land. He also 
raised hogs, sheep, and produced lumber for 
building furniture and pulpwood. 

This farm was divided up with six children. 
Charles Miller and his wife, Hattie Miller, 
took over about 50 acres. Charles was the son 
of Monroe Miller. Charles farmed the 50 
acres raising corn, potatoes, tomatoes and 
other vegetables for market. Charles Miller, 
also, was a furniture builder. He built cabi- 
nets, shelves, chairs, and spinning wheels 
from lumber from this farm. Charles built 
another house back up the hollar where the 
old log house of Eli Miller first stood. 

In 1958, Bruce Miller took over the farm. 
Bruce was the son of Charles Miller. Later 
Bruce and his wife, Dorothy Miller, began 
farming by raising potatoes and corn. They 
also built crafts from timber on this farm. 

The Miller family plans to continue farm- 
ing the land into the next century. This is over 
one hundred and sixty years of family farming 
and proud to be farmers in the great state of 


North Carolina. 

Submitted by Bruce and Dorothy Miller 


The three Perkins brothers were born in 
England in the years 1738, 1740 and 1742. 
They started for America in or about the year 

The Perkins homeplace. 

1760. They landed in Connecticut and after 
about three years started south. They settled 
in Virginia and North Carolina. 

Joseph Perkins settled at Old Fields in Ashe 
County before the Revolutionary War and 
served in the Mexican Army. After this he 
moved to Ohio and after the Indians went on 
the war path there, they sold out and came to 
Buffalo in Ashe County. 

Linda G. Hahn presently lives at the old 
homeplace. There is a cemetery and two log 
buildings that still stand. Linda's great grand- 
father, David Perkins, was born October 1, 
1 820 and lived in an old log house here. There 
was a log spring house and barn then. There is 
also a cellar, smokehouse and woodshed. 

Linda's grandfather, William F. Perkins, 
built the house she lives in, except it has been 
remodeled some. It was built when her moth- 
er was a little girl. 

William F. Perkins was married to Alice 
Toliver and they had two girls, Linda's moth- 
er, Mildred, and her Aunt Jean. 

Mildred married Hardy Greene and they 
had three girls, Mildred Louise, Linda and 

Hardy Greene divided the homeplace so all 
of his girls own it. Linda got the house and 

Linda married but is divorced and she has 
two sons, Richard and Michael Hahn. 
Michael lives with his mother, Linda, and 
Linda works for First Citizens Bank in West 

Linda can remember when they had a mill 
to grind corn. Some of the Perkins' made part 
of the old hog rifle. Maple syrup was made 
there. During the years there has been tobac- 
co, corn, cane, oats, cattle and sheep grown on 
the farm. There used to be apple trees all over 
the place. They now have cattle and two 
horses. Submitted by Linda G. Hahn 


The Perkins farm has been in the same 
family for over 200 years, having been first 
settled by Timothy Perkins, Sr. (1736-1834). 
He received the land grant from Governor 
Caswell in the late 1700's. The original tract 
was 2000+ acres. Successive family owners 
have been: Timothy Perkins, Jr. 1771-1851; 
Johnson Perkins, 1815-1 884; Winfield J. Per- 

The Perkins home built in 1898. Now owned by 
Clara Perkins. 

kins, 1851-1925; and Miss Clara Perkins, 

The present farmhouse was built in 1898, 
replacing two other houses close by (probably 
just in front of present house). The house is 
typical of large homes built during that era 
and is constructed of materials from the farm. 
The walls of each room are paneled in differ- 
ent wood. The mantels and trim are walnut, 
maple, poplar, cherry, linden, and oak. The 
ceilings are chestnut. The main staircase is 
walnut and oak, and the rail is done in the 
intricate design of hand turned spindles. The 
house has been modernized (original archi- 
tecture undisturbed) and perfectly main- 
tained through the years. 

Outbuildings include spring house, apple- 
potato house, smokehouse, "lumber house" 
(used for tools and storage), battery room 
(once used to house batteries for Delco elec- 
trical system), two garages, large barn (one 
portion 100+ years old), corn crib, and cattle 
weigh station. 

On the original farm tract are flour and feed 
mills, woolen factory, which made blankets 
and also sold wool to Chatham Manufactur- 
ing Company in Elkin. Crops produced on the 
farm have been wheat, corn, oats, and tobacco 
and livestock. 

During the Civil War there were no battles 
in the area, but Yankee soldiers came through 
plundering horses, food, and grain. Bullet 
holes from their guns are in the corn crib door. 
The brother of Winfield Perkins, James Per- 
kins, was shot by a bushwacker one night 
while he was sleeping in his tent. 

All Perkins ancestors are buried, along with 
several slaves, in the Perkins family cemetery 
on a hill above the house. Timothy, Sr., is bur- 
ied in nearby Sturgills. 

Submitted by Richard R. Glenn 


During the ownership of this farm, many 
crops have been produced — corn, wheat, 
buckwheat, tobacco, rye and hay. 

Some buildings include homes, barns, and 
other outbuildings. 

No buildings remain. 

The Union Army had to pass through this 
farm. Some alleged old hanging trees remain. 
Ghosts, supposed to relate to the Civil War, 
still remain so the story goes. 

The Phipps gained access to this property 
through a grant from the King of England in 
the 1 7th Century. This grant was supposed to 
cover about five thousand acres. 

Submitted by David L. Phipps 


An outbuilding on the Phipps farm. 


James Ray, the son of Colonel Jesse Ray, a 
Revolutionary War hero, was born in 1 789. 
James Ray and Jennie Hardin Ray came to 
Buffalo Creek, Ashe County, in 1837 and 
established a home. They brought at least five 
children, Henry, Hiram, Washington, Emma- 
line and Hilton. Hilton and wife, Elizabeth 
Burkette, stayed on the farm until their death. 
Hilton and Elizabeth raised three children, 
Franklin, Thomas and Elbert. Franklin died 
as a bachelor on the farm. Thomas married 
Hettie Brown and raised one daughter, Eliza- 

Elizabeth and her husband, Howard Gray- 
beal, presently are living on the farm in a 1 50 
year old home that has been passed down 
from generation to generation. Elizabeth and 
Howard have four daughters: Helen, Ruth 
Ann, Margaret and Betty. Ruth Ann and hus- 
band currently occupy a home on the family 

Pictured are Thomas and Hettie Brown Rav, and 
their daughter, Elizabeth Ray Graybeal, in front of 
the original home of James Ray. 

Among the early trades developed on the 
farm was a sawmill with sash saw. This mill 
was instrumental in building the home that 
now stands on the farm, as well as, a three sto- 
ry barn, built by slaves owned by James. The 
sawmill also provided a community church 
built in 1 868. Other buildings included a root 
cellar, smokehouse, corn crib, slave kitchen, 
spring house, and a country store. 

The original house included two porches, a 
living room, and three bedrooms. On one 
wing was a large kitchen that held two large 
tables, two cupboards, a wood stove after 
191 1 and a "meal" room. All of the buildings, 
except the barn and country store, still stand 
on or near the farm. 

Slaves were wedding presents to James and 
Jennie Ray and lived on the farm until after 

the Civil War. Three of the slaves' names were 
Rachel, Ben, and Luce. After the war and the 
return of Hilton, a Lieutenant in the 5th N.C. 
Calvary, contact was lost with the slaves. 

Hilton owned six hundred acres, but now 
the family farm is less than 100 acres. The 
family cemetery marks the graves of many 
people who have lived and died on the farm. 

Many crops have been farmed through the 
years: corn, apples, beans, wheat, and other 
garden crops. In the most recent years, the 
farm raised livestock. Beef cattle are currently 
grown on the farm. 

Submitted by Elizabeth R. Graybeal 


The old Spencer farm is located on Spencer 
Branch in the Helton Community of Ashe 
County. Just after the Civil War, William 
Spencer, a Confederate Veteran of Grayson 
County Virginia, "entered" and bought from 
the state a hill farm and cleared the ground to 
farm. His brothers and father, Isaac Spencer, 
settled on adjoining farms. 

They all built log houses and made a road 
for about a mile to the homesteads. William's 
land joined the Virginia state line and he was 
killed at the line by a falling tree in 1 883. 

His son, Emory, was born and lived all his 
life (1872 to 1956) at the old home. About 
1900 he built a new T-shaped frame and 
weatherboard home with a porch upstairs 
over the ground level porch. It was a white 
house with a red roof. The house is still occu- 

After Emory's death his son Breece (born 
1 902) bought out the other heirs and owns the 
place at present. He lives on another farm on 
Helton Creek and a tenant lives at the old 

Various tracts of the farm have changed 
owners several times but the central part 
including the house, barn, and family ceme- 
tery has always been in the family. The farm 
is now about 1 70 acres in size. 

In earlier times they grew rye, corn, buck- 
wheat, oats, wheat and hay besides the vegeta- 
bles for home use. They kept sheep, cattle, 
horses, turkeys, chickens and hogs and some- 
times goats with some geese and ducks for 
feathers to make pillows and feather beds. 
They probably grew a little flax for home use 
about the 1860s and 1870s. 

Most of the crops were discontinued before 
1 940 except corn, oats and hay. Burley tobac- 
co growing started about 1930 and in recent 
years only tobacco and hay have been grown. 
Some of the fields were always rotated from 
crop to grazing. The steep hills could only be 
worked with horse drawn equipment, so 
farming in these hills is declining rapidly. 

Breece has two sons, Bryan born in 1929 
and Richard born in 193.6 and six grandchil- 
dren and five great-grandchildren. It is hoped 
that the land can be kept in the family for a 
few more generations. 

Submitted by Bryan Spencer 


The Sturgill farm is located in Ashe County 
on the Roundabout Road #1308. This farm 
has been in the Sturgill family since 1 806 and 
has had six different owners. 

First being Francis Sturgill who was born in 
Green County, Virginia 1775. As a youth he 

Martin and Wilma Sturgill at Disnev World in 

moved to Alleghany County with his family 
where they settled by the New River. He later 
married Rebecca Hash about 1 776. He enlist- 
ed in the Montgomery County Militia and 
was in the battle of King's Mountain. In 1806 
Francis bought some 600 acres of land on the 
head waters of the New River in Ashe County 
near the Tennessee line. It's not known if 
Francis lived on this land, because he died in 
1807. Francis and Rebecca had twelve chil- 

After Francis' death, the land was passed on 
to his son, Joel, who was to be the second own- 
er of this farm. He obtained title to the land in 
1813. Joel and his wife, Rachel Waters, raised 
their children here on this farm, but in later 
years went to Scott County, Virginia, then on 
to Missouri where his wife died in 1 864. The 
date of Joel's death and place of burial are not 
known, although it is thought to be in Scott 
County, Virginia. 

It is known that the farm was passed to 
Joel's son, in 1855. He and his wife, Sarah, 
lived there the rest of their lives. The next 
owner was William's son, Lewis Jackson, and 
wife, Naomi Miller. He was a magistrate and 
a blacksmith. After his death the land was 
passed to his son. Mason, and wife, Mary 
House, around 1930. He was a Postmaster 
and storekeeper and lived on the farm all his 
life. Present owner is his son, Martin, and 
wife, Wilma. Submitted by Martha L. Sturgill 
and Cathy Sturgill Pennington 


The Woodie farm is located in Ashe Coun- 
ty's Peak Creek Township — one and one half 
miles from Highway 221 and the A.C. Dancy 
Store and Scottsville Post Office on the Ashe/ 
Alleghany County line road. 

Part of the original farm land was acquired 
in 1805 from the state of North Carolina by 
Joshua Cox for fifty shillings for 100 acres of 

Simeon Woodie (born May 1, 1852) and 
Lucy Shepherd Woodie (born November 16, 
1854) purchased the homeplace for $720 on 
January 18, 1880. Simeon and Lucy Woodie 
were married on December 25, 1 875, and had 
six children: Constant V. Woodie, Rufus A. 
Woodie, George F. Woodie, J. Richard Woo- 
die, James C. Woodie, and Robert G. Woo- 
die. Simeon Woodie and his sons cleared the 
land and used the chestnut logs to make char- 
coal which was shipped to Ore Knob Mine. 

Robert Glenn Woodie (born November 3, 
1 892) and Lana Tucker Woodie (born Febru- 
ary 1 8, 1 898) married on April 9,1917. They 
bought the homeplace from Simeon and Lucy 


John Emerson U 'oodic in the hurley tobacco crop on 
his farm in Sparta, N.C. 

Woodie. They used the farm land to raise tur- 
keys, crops and dairy cattle. They were 
employed by the Postal Service and used a 
new 1923 Model-T Ford which cost $350 to 
deliver the mail. When the weather was bad a 
horse was used for transportation. Robert 
Glenn and Lana Woodie had three children: 
John Emerson Woodie, Ruth W. Taylor and 
Eula W. Witherspoon. 

John Emerson Woodie and Ilene M. Woo- 
die on May 28, 1971 were deeded the home 
place. Emerson Woodie is the retired mainte- 
nance and water supervisor of the town of 
Sparta. He is also the former owner/president 
of J.E. Woodie & Sons, Inc. Construction. He 
is currently Christmas tree farming, raising 
beef cattle and has a large apple and peach 
orchard. The Woodies have six children: 
Richard M. Woodie, Clara W. Crouse, J. Lar- 
ry Woodie, Linda W. Searcy, Iris W. Johnson 
and John Emerson Woodie, Jr. 

Submitted by Emerson Woodie 

Avery County 


Avery Farms of Plumtree, North Carolina, 
is located on U.S. Highway 19 East. At pres- 
ent Avery Farms is a Christmas Tree and live- 
stock farm, operated by brothers Judge Vance 
Avery and William Waightstill Avery with 
both families active in the business and living 
on the land. Mother Lotus Avery also lives on 
the farm. 

Avery Farms was started from land granted 
to Waightstill Avery, first Attorney General 
of North Carolina, around 1 785 and has been 
in the possession of the Avery family since 
then. The farm now consists of over 2,000 
acres. It lies on the North Toe River with 
approximately 300 acres of bottom land and 
about the same amount of pasture land with 
the balance of approximately 1400 acres 
planted in Christmas trees. 

During the first 100 years, the land was 
used mainly to grow grass, wheat, rye and 
corn for the livestock. During the period 
1905-1928, our grandfather, William 
Waightstill Avery, a Davidson College gradu- 
ate, came back to the farm and ran a dairy 
from which he processed the milk into cheese 
and shipped it to New York City. 

Ashe — Avery — Beaufort 

In the late 1800s, mica and feldspar were 
discovered on the farm and mining became a 
major source of income until 1 959. 

Our father, William Waightstill (Waits) 
Avery, ran a beef cattle operation until his 
death in 1980. 

At present, Avery Farms is one of the larg- 
est Christmas tree farms in North Carolina 
with over one million Fraser Fir Christmas 
trees being grown. The Christmas tree opera- 
tion was the first to ship Fraser Fir Christmas 
trees by mail order. Trees have been shipped 
into every state in the United States and sev- 
eral other countries. But, most of our trees are 
sold wholesale throughout the southeast, 
midwest and northeast. 

The farm was originally used as summer 
pasture for the Avery's beef cattle. Beef cattle 
is still raised today. In 1985, Avery Farms 
started a registered quarter horse operation. 

Land is important to the Averys and we 
now have several sons involved in the farm 
operation, so we anticipate, with the help of 
our Lord, that this farm will be in existence 
for another 100 years. 

Submitted by H 'aightstill A very 

Beaufort County 


The Harris farm, located in Beaufort 
County, Long Acre Township, was acquired 
from the state of North Carolina in 1788, in 
the 1 3th year of our independence. It is ironic 
that the farm was first owned by John Harris 
and the last person to own the farm with the 
Harris 1 name was John. 

The farm still owned by a member of the 
family is John's daughter, Ada Louise Harris 
Mizell. She is the only child of John and Lyda 
Windley Harris. The farm has been in contin- 
uous ownership, making it only one year away 
from a two century family farm. 

Originally, the farm had 186 acres, but 
through the years with divisions taking place, 
it now has 36 acres. The original house 
burned, but no date has been established. 
There was another built and later another 
house was built which is the one still in use. 
The last was completed in 1935. 

Until the death of Johnnie Harris, this farm 
was the main source of income for the family. 
Crops planted on this farm have been corn, 
cotton, soybean and tobacco. The farmland is 
leased out and corn, tobacco and soybeans are 
the principal crops. 

Ownership of this farm has been as follows: 
September 9, 1788, John Harris received 
from the state of North Carolina 186 acres; 
1817, John Harris to George Harris; 1846, 
George Harris to Lovick Harris; 1855, Lovick 
Harris dower to Almarine Harris; 1873, 
Almarine remarried to Elisha Gurganus and 
gave her rights to Asa. C. Harris, grandfather 
of present owner, Ada Harris Mizell; 1875, 
George W. Respass and wife, Mary to Asa C. 
Harris; 1 876, John W. Alligood and wife, Sara 
to Ada C. Harris; 1902, Asa Harris and wife, 
Mary, to John L. and Bertha Harris; 1902, 
Asa Harris and wife, Mary, to Lovick Harris; 
1937, Lovick Harris to John Harris; 1958, 
Bertha Harris to Ada Harris Mizzell; 1977, 
John Harris died and willed the estate to his 
daughter, Ada Harris Mizell; and 1980, Ber- 
tha Harris died and life estate was closed. 

Submitted by Ada L. Mizell 


In April of 1 853, Dr. James F. Latham pur- 
chased land in the eastern-most section of 
Beaufort County, in an area known as Haslin. 
He practiced medicine and farmed. His son, 
Fred, worked with him, and at his father's 
death in 1 893, inherited part of the land, and 
then bought out the other heirs. He later pur- 
chased adjoining land, bordering the Pungo 
River, bringing this acreage to approximately 
1 500 acres, with much of this still being uti- 
lized for timber production. 

The "Circle Grove Farm", 1920s. 

Fred had two sons, Joseph and Harry. 
Though Joseph pursued a medical degree, 
Harry graduated from N.C. State in 1919, 
then returned to the farm, where he remained 
for several years before opening a feed grain 
and equipment business in Belhaven. 

Fred Latham enjoyed a long and distin- 
guished career in the field of agriculture and 
conservation. Besides overseeing his farm 
operation, he served two terms in the N.C. 
Senate from 1 909 to 1913, and was a member 
of the N.C. State Board of Agriculture from 
1915 to 1929. In the late 1940s and early 
1950's, he served on the Board of Conserva- 
tion and Development. 

During the early 1920s, Fred became 
involved in a corn-breeding program, and 
developed two varieties of open-pollinated 
corn, Latham's Double and Latham's Yellow 
Cross. Until the advent of hybrid seed corn in 
the 1950s, these were well-known and popu- 
lar varieties of seed corn. 

In 1947, Harry's daughter, Jane, married 
Marion Dilday, a native of Hertford County. 
At the time of their marriage, Marion was 
employed by the N.C. Department of Agricul- 
ture in the Markets Division. With his major 
at N.C. State having been Agronomy, and 
with a farming background, he was well quali- 
fied tojoin Mr. Latham in his farm, seed and 
cattle operation. 

Since 1947, Marion and Jane have contin- 
ued to farm the original holdings, and in addi- 
tion, have purchased and cleared 2500 acres 
of adjoining land. Two sons-in-law, Harold 
Smith and Del Ross, now farm all the crop- 

In addition to the production of seed corn, 
Marion also produced seed soybeans. In the 
1960's, he built the first stage of a seed pro- 
cessing and storage operation, Circle Grove 
Seeds, Inc., which is now one of the foremost 
seed companies in North Carolina, and one of 
the largest in the southeast. He and Jane oper- 

ate this, along with two of their daughters, 
Susan Smith and Marian Keech. 

Jane and Marion renovated the homeplace 
in 1 956 but kept the same overall appearance, 
although the circle of trees, from whence 
came the name "Circle Grove Farm" has long 
since disappeared due to age and hurricanes. 
This home is still the "core" of our century 
farm, as it is situated on the original land 
grant, and has continually been inhabited by 
descendants of the Latham family. 

Submitted by Jane Latham Dilday 


May, 1 844, Mills Riddict, Rick N. Riddict, 
William B. Whitehead and Nathan Riddict 
all of the state of Virginia deeded to Ephraim 
Ratcliff for the sum of $400 two tracts of land. 
The first tract had been purchased by their 
families May 16, 1784, containing 400 acres. 
The second tract purchased by their ancestors 
November, 1788, contained 3652 acres. 

Fifty acres of this land was conveyed to 
Ephraim Ratcliffs son, Joseph Milton on 
June 17, 1854. 

On June 26, 1878, Joseph Milton Ratcliff 
deeded land to Jordan Wilkinson. Jordan 
Wilkinson and wife conveyed said lands to 
Martha and husband, Daniel; John L. and 
wife, Mary; Joseph E. and Cornela Ann; and 
Ninnie Ratcliff. 

July 21, 1897, the above family members 
deeded property to Joseph E. Ratcliff with the 
stipulation that he provide for their father 
and mother Joseph Milton and wife, Bea- 

Joseph Ephraim Ratcliff married Virginia 
Cutler. They had ten children: Thallie, Ren- 
nel, Edgar, Ruth, Audrey, William, Daniel, 
Neva, Roy and Joseph Ephraim Ratcliff. The 
farm was conveyed to Joseph E. Ratcliff, Jan- 
uary 10, 1953. 

Joseph E. Ratcliff deeded brother Daniel 
11.6 acres around 1954. In 1986, Joseph E. 
Ratcliff purchased 1 1 acres of above men- 
tioned farm. March 1 3, 1 987 Joseph Ephraim 
Ratcliff died. The farm has been left to his 
wife, most of which will be conveyed at her 
death to still another, Joseph Ephraim Rat- 
cliff. They also have a daughter, Patricia J. 

Four of the Joe Ratcliffs have lived in the 
house still on farm. 

Submitted by Mrs. Joseph E. Ratcliff 

Bertie County 


It was in 1 836 that Abashia Bazemore pur- 
chased land on the north side of the Cashie 
Swamp. In 1838 he purchased the land 
between his and the War-Tom Swamp, thus 
placing the Cashie Swamp on the south and 
the War-Tom Swamp on the west as the two 
swamps join together. This land is located in 
Snakebite Township in Bertie County. 

The farmland that Abashia Bazemore's 
great-great-grandchildren, Lindsey Bazem- 
ore Chamblee and his sister, Lula Mae Cham- 
blee, own was the plantation homesite. 

The well that provides water for the poultry 
today is the same well that provided water for 
the animals and the family 1 50 years ago. At 
times the water has been low, but it has never 
dried up. 

Beaufort — Bertie 

Lindsey Bazemore Chamblee takes water from the 
well which has been in use for 150 years on the plan- 

Much of the early farm equipment used 
with mules is still located on the farm. For 
example, a cross-cut saw, a corn sheller which 
shells one ear at a time sending both the cob 
and the corn the same way; a four-wheel wag- 
on and a two wheel car, fertilizer distributor, 
cotton, corn and peanut planters, and a vari- 
ety of cultivators, and plows. 

For the garden, there is the homemade seed 
sower which sows small seed like cabbage and 

There are some of the old kitchen utensils: 
a coffee grinder, bread tray, a pot which hung 
in the fireplace, griddle, skillet, and pans. The 
set of six tall cups and saucers came from 

The farm contains the family cemetery 
which has graves and markers of five genera- 
tions. It is still being used by family members 
and is maintained for future use. 

At one time there were 1 7 buildings around 
the dwelling house. Many of these have been 
destroyed with the passing of time and 
storms, but one still remains solid. This build- 
ing was constructed in the 1 880s from timber 
cut from cypress trees near the swamp. Most 
of the timbers measure 8x16 inches and were 
cut by using an axe. It was put together at the 
corners with the "dove-tail" design. It mea- 
sures 8x10 and was used to store vegetables 
in the winter. 

The old bell which was used to toll the noon 
meal — to summon the workers from the field 
is still attached to the post in the yard. I 
remember how good it sounded to hear the 
bell ring, calling us to the house for dinner and 
a period of rest. Sometimes the bell was used 
to send a message of distress — such as a 
death in the family or a fire, at these times it 
was rung in a different way. 

It is assumed that the women in the family 
prepared and made the clothing for the fami- 
ly. The bats which were used to card the cot- 
ton or wool, along with the spinning wheel 
and the weaving loom are still at the homesite 
in one of the buildings. 

No doubt the men in the family did some 
hunting as the double-barrel muzzle-loaded 
gun and the powder horn have been saved, 
but I do not remember them being used. 

One of Abashia Bazemore's sons served in 
the Civil War and the weapon which he used 

was saved. It consisted of the sword, the case 
and the belt with the brass buckle. 

Modern ways of living and farming have 
replaced the olden methods and the planta- 
tion has been divided as each generation 
passed on to their reward. However, fresh 
fruits and vegetables, country eggs and pork 
raised, killed, and cured on the farm still 
reminds one that the farm was once self- 
sufficient, but that too has changed with the 
passing of time. Submitted by Lindsey Bazemore 
Chamblee and Lula Mae Chamblee 


The purchase of 1 56 acres in Bertie County 
by G.W. Cobb in 1867 became the origin of 
the Cobb Century Farm. George, educated at 
Colerain Academy, married Celia A. Henry 
the same year he purchased the land. The 
homeplace was built in 1880. In addition to 
farming, George was also a justice of the 

Melvin R. Cobb's century homeplace. 

In 1 922, Peter F. Cobb, a son of George and 
Celia, inherited the farm. He married Sallie 
Mills White in 1907, and they had nine chil- 
dren. Peter bought 250 additional acres in 
1925. He farmed, served as district supervi- 
sor of county roads, logged and managed 
woodlands. His seven sons carried much of 
his workload. As the boys began leaving the 
farm, Peter used tenants to work the land. He 
retired and moved out of the homeplace in 

Melvin R. Cobb, the fourth son of Peter, 
purchased a portion of the farm, known as the 
"White Place" in 1 94 1 . He had married Edna 
Phelps in 1937, and they had two children. 
They worked the "White Place" and later 
managed Peter's land after his retirement. 
Melvin also worked with the Veterans Farm 
Program as an instructor. 

In 1957, Melvin bought all shares from the 
heirs to settle the estate of his father. He con- 
tinued a landlord-tenant relationship until 
1965. Mechanization forced a move to lease 
operations. Fifty acres were cleared and add- 
ed to production by Melvin. 

Subsequent years saw the homeplace 
destroyed by fire in 1972, and the return of 
Melvin R. "Rudy" Cobb, Jr. to the family 
farm in 1974. 

Rudy's operation of the farm fell victim to 
high equipment prices, excessive interest 
rates, a decline in grain prices and the drought 
conditions in 1979 and 1980. He sold out in 
early 1981. 

Melvin and Edna are proud to be Century 
Farmers, but saddened to see many family 


farms, as Melvin surmises, "Gone With the 
Wind." Submitted by Melvin R. Cobb, Sr. 


The farm which is registered to Harold S. 
Lawrence, Jr. and Mac W. Lawrence has been 
in the Lawrence family for more than a hun- 
dred years. The first tract of land containing 
150 acres was purchased by our great- 
grandfather, James H. Lawrence, and two of 
his aunts, Elizabeth Bryant and Christine 
Bryant, from John Hardy and his wife, Ella 
Hardy, in 1 874. He paid "the sum of seventy 
five dollars to him in hand." 

The second tract was added in 1880. This 
was purchased by James H. Lawrence from 
Robert A. Taylor. There were 70 acres in this 
tract and it was sold for sixty dollars. The deed 
states that this was known as "the Bryant of 
Texas." Down through the years, even today, 
it's still called "Texas." 

On this farm in White's Township, Bertie 
County, James H. Lawrence and his wife, 
Maggie Perry Lawrence, raised their family of 
five sons and three daughters. At one time he 
was a county commissioner and a justice of 
the peace for many years. In this capacity, he 
performed many marriages and the family 
has numerous copies of deeds that he wrote 
for friends and neighbors. 

When James H. Lawrence died in 1922, he 
left the farm to his children. Luther C. Law- 
rence, grandfather of the present owners, 
bought out the other heirs over a ten year peri- 
od, from 1925-1935. He sold the farm to his 
son, Harold S. Lawrence, Sr., in 1968. He in 
turn sold it to his sons, the present owners, in 

The owners live on the farm, do the work, 
and their income is derived from the corn, 
soybeans, peanuts and tobacco that they 

There is now a new Lawrence on the scene, 
William Austin, the son of Harold, Jr. and his 
wife, Pamela, who was born June 28, 1987. 
We anticipate that he and his heirs will be on 
the same farm in 2088. It's a good place to 
live, and hopefully by that time, farmers will 
be receiving a greater return from their invest- 
ment. Submitted by Mac W. Lawrence 


Overflow Farm was so named for the num- 
ber of artesian wells flowing freely within its 
boundaries. A large one, first tapped in 1926 
for the construction of a new bridge over 
Quiocquison Swamp, has served as a roadside 
stop for thousands of tourists and locals. It 
still offers the sanction of its cool water with 

The original structure of the Overflow farm home. 

Bertie — Bladen 

a shaded picnic area to the north/south traffic 
on US 13. 

As for the owners, the north central section 
of Bertie County had been the birthplace for 
Nathan Myers and it was there he purchased 
land on May 10, 1873. As the deed stated, the 
land was bound "on the East by the Public 
Road which leads from Quiocquison Swamp 
to Powells Crofs, (now Powellsville) and on 
the South by Quiocquison Swamp." He 
moved his family into a log house already sit- 
uated on the land and began clearing the origi- 
nal timber. As trees were cut, neighbors 
joined in "log rollings" to pile the fallen trees 
for burning in order to open the land for farm- 
ing. Corn and cotton were major crops on the 
farm at that time and a cider press was operat- 
ed for the family and neighbors. 

The main house was constructed in 1877 
and Nathan Myers, his wife Sally Askew, and 
their four children moved into the story and a 
half-central hall structure. Since its comple- 
tion, this house has served as home for the 
owners with the front section remaining 
unchanged and each generation making 
changes and additions to the rear. 

As Nathan's health failed, his middle 
daughter, Ella Myers who had married T.W. 
Hollomon, returned home with her husband 
and family in the fall of 1913 and T.W. 
assumed management of the farm. Nathan 
died in 1 922 and was buried beside his wife on 
a small knoll overlooking the land he cleared. 

T.W. and Ella Hollomon purchased the 
entire farm from the other Myers heirs and 
cleared some additional woodlands. The two 
had six children who contributed to the daily 
operation of the farm and it was during this 
period that tobacco and peanuts were added 
to the crops being harvested. T.W. farmed the 
land until his death in 1936 and his widow, 
Ella, daughter of the original owner, contin- 
ued the operation. 

In 1942, Cecil Hollomon, T.W. and Ella's 
youngest son, married Rosalie Liverman 
from Murfreesboro and assumed full man- 
agement of the farm. He purchased the farm 
from the other heirs in 1 944 and still manages 
the farm's operation. Ella remained on the 
farm with Cecil and his family and died in 
1969, having lived in the house her entire 96 
years with the exception of her first 1 7 years of 
marriage. Cecil cleared additional land, bred 
hogs for a number of years, and has added soy- 
beans to the crops being harvested. 

As the 20th century moved into its last 
quarter, Overflow Farm had experienced 
numerous changes with horses giving way to 
tractors and the work that once took numer- 
ous laborers now being done by a few. Over- 
flow Farm met the challenges of this new age 
and continued to send its products to market, 
prepared its family members for various pro- 
fessions, and offered sanction to family and 
friends with a positive outlook for the centu- 
ries ahead. Submitted by Cecil Hollomon, Sr. 


The century farm's present owners are 
Edwin Parker and wife, Jo Ann Parker. Edwin 
has purchased or inherited his farm from six 
generations of Parkers who were previous 
owners. Edwin has in his home a copy of a 
land grant from the state of North Carolina to 
Joseph Parker. The grant consists of eighty 
acres dated July 1 9, 1 794, which was granted 

to Joseph Parker signed by Governor Richard 
Dobbs Speight. Grant No. 259 registered in 
Bertie County. 

Other owners: The 5th generation was Rue- 
ben Parker (1776-1821). The 4th generation 
was William George Parker (1819-1863). The 
3rd generation was Henry King Parker (1855- 
1931). The 2nd generation was John B. Par- 
ker, Sr. (1890-1977). The 1st generation and 
present owner is Edwin McCall Parker 

Edwin has a pedigree chart that his mother 
prepared for him that goes back to the 1 1th 
generation of the Parkers, who was John Par- 
ker of Southhampton, England (born in 
1612). Submitted by Edwin McCall Parker 


The original owner of the Sessoms farm, 
located on Highway 1 32 1 between Ponellsvil- 
le and Bethlehem Church, was Dr. Harold Bill 
Sessoms, who served in the North Carolina 
Senate in 1 850. He passed the farm on to his 
son, Dr. Joseph W. Sessoms, who built the 
home in the early 1850s, which stood on the 
farm until fairly recently. Dr. Joseph Sessoms 
deeded the farm to his son, Leigh R. Sessoms, 
who in turn gave the farm to his son, Harold 
R. Sessoms. At Harold's death, the farm 
became the property of his widow, Elizabeth 
Cross Sessoms, who owns the farm today. 

No one has lived in the home since Leigh 
died, but a negro family, living in a tenant 
house nearby, kept the house and grounds in 
good shape as long as they lived. After the 
death of this family, vandalism became a 
problem as windows were stolen; so to pre- 
vent its complete destruction, the house was 
given to a man who wanted to restore it and 
move it to a new location. The outer houses 
and stables were destroyed by time and wind 
storms, so the only buildings standing today 
are a tobacco barn and a storage building. The 
land on which buildings were standing has 
been cleared and added to the farming land. 

The farm is in good condition today, and a 
reliable tenant farms the land and keeps 
everything in excellent shape. 

Submitted by Elizabeth Cross Sessoms 

Bladen County 


For more than five generations the Len- 
nons, Frinks and Freemans have been land- 
owners and farmers in Bladen County. In 
1844, John Moore Lennon acquired land 
granted by the state of North Carolina along 

The John Frink Freeman farm family homeplace for 
more than 100 years. 

Bryant Swamp on SR 1 1 76 near Bladenboro, 
in addition to land inherited from his father. 

In the division of the John Moore Lennon 
estate in 1 875 his daughter, Amanda Lennon 
Frink, wife of William Pinckney Frink, 
received a 50 acre tract which is a part of the 
Century Farm land. The Frinks were living in 
Columbus County, south of Chadbourn, 
when he entered the Confederate Army in the 
Civil War and was killed in battle in 1862. 
Being left alone with two young children, 
James M. and Jane Elizabeth, Amanda L. 
Frink came back to live on the family farm. 

Jane Elizabeth grew up and married Thom- 
as Jefferson Freeman and through the years 
they had nine children. The farm continued 
in operation. In the early 1900s, Thomas J. 
Freeman and his brother-in-law, James M. 
Frink, formed a partnership — The Frink and 
Freeman Lumber Company, Bladenboro, 
They operated a sawmill and cut some of the 
finest virgin timber in this area, some of 
which was shipped to Wilmington for use in 
the shipyard there and to other ports. 

In 1914 Amanda L. Frink deeded to her 
daughter, Jane E. Frink Freeman, the 50 acre 
tract referred to above as part of her inheri- 

In 1 934, Jane E. Frink Freeman deeded this 
property, which was the homeplace, to her 
youngest son, John Frink Freeman, who had 
remained at home to operate the farm after 
his father's death in 1 930. He also operated a 
general store in Bladenboro from 1936 to 

In 1 938, John Frink Freeman married Dai- 
sy Edith Lennon and they had two children, 
Mattie Elizabeth and John Frink Freeman, Jr. 

At the death of John Frink Freeman in 
1971, through the execution of his Will, the 
farm, now consisting of 323 acres, and includ- 
ing the original 50 acre Century Farm land, 
was passed to his wife, Edith Lennon Free- 
man. The family lands continue to be used for 
general purpose farming and hopefully will be 
far into the future. 

Submitted by Edith L. Freeman 


Our Century Farm is located on S.R. 
1177-N., two miles out of Bladenboro on 
N.C. 410-S. It has within its bounds the sec- 
ond corner of a 400 acre survey made by 
Rehan Redin recorded in the Bladen County 
registry during August, 1779. The town of 
Bladenboro is located on this 400 acre tract. 

In the year 1843, John Moore Lennon, 
great-great-grandfather of William L. Frink, 
made a survey and a land grant was made to 
him by Governor John M. Moorehead for a 
charge of $5.00 per one hundred acres. Some 
years later another tract was purchased for a 
fee of $12.50 per 100 acres. This included a 
tract that was later referred to as the Thomas 
Simpson House Bottom, a colorful name for 
a farm in the early 1 800s. 

Submitted by William L. and Martha W. Frink 


In April, 1786, James Campbell was mar- 
ried to Katherine Lamon. Both families 
owned farm lands in Bladen County. Their 
son, John Campbell, married to Catherine 
Dove, left Bladen County and lived in South 
Carolina with their seven children. A daugh- 


The Harrelson home, built in 1917 by Thomas B. 
Harrelson. Living there today are Mr. and Mrs. Dan 
Regan, Jr. Mrs. Regan is a daughter of Thomas B. 
Harrelson. They keep the house in good condition 
out of sentiment. 

ter, Margaret, was married to Enos Harrelson 
from the area of Fork, South Carolina. 

Inheriting land from Campbells and 
Lamons, Margaret and Enos Harrelson 
moved to Bladen County. In addition to 
inheriting land, Enos purchased from John 
Campbell his share, in 1884. Several of their 
ten children moved to Bladen to live with 
them or nearby. One of these was Hugh Har- 
relson and wife, Rebecca Rogers Harrelson, 
who moved to Bladen County in 1 886. Thom- 
as B. Harrelson, a son, was then two years old. 

Lands were on either side of Whites Creek. 
The family farmed, and beside a mill pond 
operated a grist mill and blacksmith shop. 
The soil, suited to growing field crops, was 
one of the first in the area growing tobacco. 
Today, tobacco, corn, soybeans and peanuts 
are grown. It is between Clarkton and Eliza- 

In 1916, 16 acres of the original several 
hundred acres were deeded to Thomas B. 
Harrelson. In 1917, he built the first four 
rooms of the present house. (It was remodeled 
in 1933). Married in 1918 to Delphia (Dolly) 
White, this was their home for their lifetime. 
They purchased additional acres of the family 
land owned by grandparents. This small farm 
is a 53.7 acre tract. Other tracts of the original 
estate are owned by cousins. The old home is 
in disrepair. 

Living on this farm today are Elma Harrel- 
son Regan (sister of Fleta L. Harrelson), and 
her husband, Dan A. Regan, Jr., retired. 
Fleta, retired from the N.C. Extension Ser- 
vice as a home economics agent, lives in the 
county, and enjoys visiting on the farm. 

Thomas B. Harrelson, father of Elma and 
Fleta, lived 96 years. He died in 1980. His 
wife had died in 1965. 

With the interest in family shown by a niece 
and nephew, it is felt that this land will contin- 
ue to remain in the family for cultivation and 
wholesome country living. 

Submitted by Fleta L. Harrelson 


"Willow Bend Farm" is located 5.5 miles 
northeast of Clarkton on Burney Ford State 
Road 1760, near Horse Shoe Swamp, in the 
Brown Marsh Township of Bladen County. 
Presently, the farm consists of 233 acres of 
farmland, with 66 acres of cropland. 

On January 27, 1875, Andrew Franklin 
Burney purchased the first 95 acre tract of 
land for a price of $.50 per acre. Burney 
cleared a field and started building a home. 
On April 12, 1876, Burney married Sarah 

Eleanor Benson of the Emerson Community, 
and brought her to this farm on horseback. In 
a good Christian home, they reared a family 
of eight sons and two daughters. The Burneys 
purchased a second tract of land on March 28, 
1877. This tract contained six acres of land. 

The Burneys grew cotton, corn, sweet pota- 
toes and gardens and raised hogs, cows, 
horses, and sheep. Cotton and wool produced 
on the farm were transformed into clothing 
and bedding for family use. Spinning wheels, 
looms, cotton and wool cards were all used in 
this process. Cooking was done in fireplaces 
and on wood stoves. Oil lamps and fireplaces 
provided light. 

On February 28, 1911, Andrew Franklin 
Burney died. Sarah Eleanor Burney contin- 
ued to live on the farm until having a stroke 
on July 9, 1 943. She died on August 29, 1 949. 

On September 29, 1948, William Howard 
Taft McCall and wife, Dorothy Elizabeth 
Burney McCall, bought the Andrew F. Bur- 
ney farm. The McCalls and their three small 
children moved to this farm on December 3, 

Farming tobacco, peanuts, cotton, corn, 
and soybeans necessitated the entire family to 
become involved in the farming operation. 
Sweet potato fields, gardens, and fruit trees 
growing on the farm provided fruits and vege- 
tables for family use. Dairy, poultry, pork, 
and beef products were all produced on the 
farm for family use. 

In the early 1 950s, electricity became avail- 
able and made a big difference in home life. 
An electric stove, a freezer, indoor plumbing, 
a wringer washing machine, and electric lights 
all seemed too good to be true when compared 
with wood stoves, oil stoves, block ice, hand 
pumps, washboards, and oil lamps. 

The Willow Bend Farm provided the 
means for rearing the children of W.H. Taft 
and Dorothy Elizabeth B. McCall. The first 
born, Peggy Joan McCall, married Edgar 
Robert Casey, III, of Burgaw, N.C. They have 
two children: Jo Anne and William Robert 
(Bill). Mrs. Casey is home economics exten- 
sion agent in Pender County. The second 
born, a son, Howard Franklin McCall, is mar- 
ried to Frances Perry Ennis. He has two sons, 
David Owen and Henry Randall (Randy). 
Mr. McCall is employed by Carolina Power 
and Light Company in Raleigh. The third 
born and baby, a daughter, Meta Faye 
McCall, is married to Wilford Harry Hardin 
and lives in Elizabethtown. They have two 
children: Crystal Renee and Wilford Harry 
Hardin, Jr. (Wilt). Mrs. Hardin is employed 
with ASCS-USDA in Bladen County. 

Today, crops of tobacco, peanuts, corn and 
soybeans continue to be grown on the Willow 
Bend Farm. Submitted by W.H. Taft McCall 


On February 22, 1 792, Jonathan Robeson 
and Ann Cain were married. Jonathan was 
the son of Colonel Thomas Robeson and 
Mary Bartram. Ann was the daughter of Sam- 
uel and Susanna Cain. This marriage brought 
the land which qualifies us as a Century Farm 
family into the Robeson family. 

Samuel Cain was the brother of Joseph 
Cain, who received a large grant of land along 
the Cape Fear River. 

Joseph had no children and left his proper- 
ty to his niece Ann. 

The Robeson home near Tar Heel, N.C. L to R: 
Elmira Dunham Robeson, Annie Laurie, Robert 
Raymond Robeson, William Raeford Robeson, 
Mary Robeson and Evander McNair Robeson. 

In 1819 Samuel Robeson, the youngest son 
of Jonathan and Ann Robeson, married Eliz- 
abeth Ellis. Elizabeth is remembered by her 
diary, which has been published by the Bla- 
den County Historical Society, and gives a 
vivid description of farm life in the 1800s. 
Her son, Evander McNair Robeson, served 
with the Confederate Army in the Civil War 
and returned to the "homeplace" to build a 
prosperous farm enterprise including a cotton 
gin. Evander became a respected citizen in the 
Tar Heel community and served two terms in 
the North Carolina State Senate in the late 
1800s and early 1900s. 

Evander and his wife, Sarah Elmire Dun- 
ham, had seven children. Each one received a 
farm. James Ellis and Robert Raymond 
received the old family home and the adjoin- 
ing land. They continued to operate this farm, 
growing corn, beans, peanuts, hogs and cows. 
They also began to cultivate wheat, rye and 
oats. They bought machinery and practiced 
modern methods of farming. Tobacco was 
introduced and soon replaced cotton as the 
main cash crop. 

Raymond's daughters, Edna Robeson and 
Ida R. Irvine, now own the property and con- 
tinue to operate the farm. 

Submitted by Ida R. Irvine 


George Cromartie was born to Alexander 
and Elizabeth DeVane Cromartie August 14, 
1804. George married Mary Jane Hendon 
White, February 1 1, 1834., From a previous 
marriage, Mary Jane and her husband owned 
land that they lost to debt. When put up for 
auction, neighbors refused to bid against wid- 
owed Mary Jane's $1 bid for the near 1500 
acres, and she reacquired the land for $ 1 . 

George and Mary Jane had ten children, 
one of whom was Richard Bascom Cromar- 
tie, born in 1 850. 

The family built on their 1 500 acres in late 
1834. They later had two other houses, the 
"summer house" on higher ground to avoid 
malaria and the "winter house" near the 
school to which the children walked. Richard 
married Hattie Agnes Clark in 1883. In the 
early 1 890s, Rich's father gave him the "sum- 
mer house." It was torn down and the hand 
hewed timbers were used as part of the fram- 
ing for the new house. It was built on a high 
spot of the near 600 acres then owned by 
Richard and Hattie, who had seven children. 

Bladen — Brunswick 

The Cromartie home in the early 1890s. 

Their only son and one daughter died early in 

During the early 1900s, Rich gave land 
through the farm for the building of the Vir- 
ginia Carolina Southern Railroad. The Burw- 
ick train station stop was at Rich's store that 
also served as a commissary for a sawmill that 
operated on the farm. Land and labor, to 
build a road that divided the farm, were also 
given by the family. 

Hattie died in 1924. The property was 
divided among the five living girls in the 
1940s. Aniese Hendon Cromartie inherited 
the homeplace and a share of the farm, where 
she and her father lived until 1 940. 

The house remained vacant until 1957 
when Henry Layton and Jane Hendon 
Holmes Ross bought the homeplace and 97 
acres of land. Jane is the daughter of Eunice 
Cromartie Holmes, one of Rich and Hattie's 
daughters. Layton and Jane have remodeled 
the house and acquired an additional 62 acres 
of the original tract of land. The Ross' have 
two children, Sandra Aniese Ross Kelly and 
Henry (Hank) Layton Ross, Jr. The farm has 
been in production through the years produc- 
ing corn, tobacco, soybeans, peanuts and 
blueberries. Pine timber stands on about 1 14 
acres of the farm. Submitted by Jane H. and 

Henry Layton Ross 


A tract of land was bought in 1 828 from 
Durrum Lewis by Edward Singletary to add to 
his estate in Bladen County. After 160 years, 
Isaac W. and Katherine D. Singletary are liv- 
ing on a portion of it, and he and his sons farm 

Edward Singletary married Mary Ann Grif- 
fin. He was a farmer, but not a slave owner. 
He grew corn, cotton, cows, sheep, hogs and 
chickens. Sheep wool was spun and woven 
into cloth by his daughter, Ava. 

Wright Singletary, Edward's son, served in 
the Civil War, returned later and married 
Lucy Morriah Mun Nance, October 30, 1 872. 
He inherited a tract of this land, built a house 
on it, grew corn and cotton, and also raised 
cows and hogs. He lived in the same house 
until he was 97 years old. 

Wright Singletary had only one son, Calvin 
Dawson Singletary, who married Eliza Caro- 
line Singletary, March 4, 1897. He built a 
home near his father on the same tract of 
land. He was a carpenter during winter, but 
farmed during summer. Corn, cotton and 
tobacco were grown on his tract. A tobacco 
barn was built on it, and cows, hogs and chick- 
ens were also raised on it. 

Calvin Dawson's son, Isaac Wright, mar- 
ried Sarah Katherine Davis November 30, 
1939. He is semi-retired, and still lives on a 
portion of the original land. He has bought 
three tracts of land nearby and cleared 
enough to make about 145 acres of his own. 
He helps his sons tend his farm and grows a 
big garden for eating, canning and freezing 
vegetables and fruit. Corn, cotton, tobacco, 
soybeans, peanuts, milo and small grains 
have been grown on his farm. Two tobacco 
barns were built on it along with a pack house, 
combination stock barn, hog farrowing 
house, and topping out house besides his 
dwelling house. Nearly 50 years have passed 
since he started farming and many improve- 
ments have been made on the farm. 

The oldest son, Isaac B. Singletary, married 
Nina Bryan, September 1 1, 1966. They built 
a brick house about l M mile away. He has 
bought two farms and rents other land to grow 
corn, soybeans and small grain and some 
tobacco. He owns 370 acres of land, tends 500 
acres in all and has horses, cows, goats, ducks 
and sells around 1 800 hogs a year. He keeps 
over 1 00 brood sows and has built a farrowing 
house and topping out house, also bulk barns, 
wood shop and other buildings to shelter his 
big equipment. He has applied soil conserva- 
tion drainage on his farms. His son, Bryan, is 
a sophomore at State college. 

J. Dawson Singletary's youngest son mar- 
ried Opal Bryan January 10, 1971. After 
working about four years, he built a brick 
house across the road from Isaac B.'s. He has 
tended as much as 45 acres a year of tobacco, 
corn, soybeans, milo, peanuts and small 
grain. He now tends 475 acres. He has put up 
four bulk barns, two grain bins, two equip- 
ment shelters and a shop. He owns big tractors 
and equipment needed in big farming opera- 
tions. He owns about 75 cows which he pas- 
tures on the fields in winter on rye. 

His sons, Shoul, Bradley and Ashley, hope 
to carry on the farm work for many years to 
come. Submitted by Katherine D. Singletary 

Brunswick County 


When our country was still young, Moses 
Gilbert came to the land on the Lockwood 
Folly River in Brunswick County. Moses and 
his family settled by the river and began the 
Gilbert Farm. By the time of his passing, the 
farm had been enlarged to nearly 550 acres. 

Robert and John Gilbert assumed owner- 
ship of the farm after their father's death. 
They worked to improve the farm and by the 
time the farm passed to its next owner, the 
farm was so prosperous, that I needed addi- 
tional labor to continue. Under the guidance 
of David Gilbert, the farm continued to pros- 
per until the Civil War. 

After the war, a new challenge faced many 
southern farms, suddenly disposed of needed 
labor. Rising to meet this challenge, new own- 

Brunswick — Buncombe — Burke 

er, William Thomas Gilbert married the girl 
next door and together they brought the farm 
into the 20th century. 

In an era of rapidly expanding technology, 
the Gilberts learned to adapt quickly. But the 
great depression, which ravaged the nation, 
numbered the Gilbert Farm among its many 
victims. One by one, the family members left 
until only two sons remained. They and their 
families struggled and survived. 

As the century progressed, more rapid tech- 
nological advancements forced the Gilberts 
to adjust. With a determination bordering on 
stubbornness, the family hung on. Mules gave 
way to diesel tractors, corn cribs to steel stor- 
age bins and stick barns to bulk curing. 

The Gilbert Farm is now run by T.J. Gil- 
bert. A sixth generation farmer, T.J. Gilbert 
managed the farm through the farm economic 
crisis of the 1 980s, determined to hold onto 
the family farm. Already, two more genera- 
tions of Gilberts are preparing to carry the 
Gilbert Farm into the 21st century and 
beyond. Submitted by T.J. and Virginia Gilbert 

Buncombe County 


In the year 1 848, Moses Cochran, my great- 
grandfather, secured land grants from the 
State of North Carolina totaling 800 acres. 
One hundred and fifty of the original tracts 
remain today in the Cochran name. 

Moses and his wife, Rebecca Davis Coch- 
ran, raised two sons, James, my grandfather, 
and William. Moses operated a water-run 
corn mill and a sawmill. He transacted land 
dealings in and outside the community. 

Upon Moses' death August 5, 1903, the 
property was divided between the two sons, 
James and William. They were both farmers 
and contributed much to the well-being of the 
community. My grandfather, James, married 
Ollie Elena Lang of Asheville. They had ten 
children, most all of whom were college grad- 
uates. With the exception of my father, they 
all moved to various parts of the southwest. 

Grandfather James died February 22, 
1 928. His wife, Ollie, died 1 8 days previously. 

My father, Jesse Jerry, bought the farm 
from his brothers and sisters. He had previ- 
ously built a home on the farm. He started the 
dairy in 1924 and operated it for 34 years. I 
have the original contract that he signed with 
Biltmore Dairy Company. He and my moth- 
er, Lenore Reeves Cochran, of Lake 
Junaluska, had seven children. 

In 1953, fresh out of college and recently 
married to Betty Moser Cochran, I operated 
the farm for my father, due to ill health, until 
he died in 1958. At that time, I bought the 
farm from my mother. She lived on the farm 
until her death in 1972. I operated the dairy 
farm from 1953 to 1987. During that time, I 
purchased 20 acres adjoining the farm. As of 
August, 1987, the dairy operation terminat- 
ed, and I became semi-retired. 

This farm is located in a beautiful valley 
between two mountain ranges in the Averys 
Creek community in Buncombe County just 
15 miles from downtown Asheville. 

With the help of my wife, Betty, and our 
three children, Gail, David and Steven, we 
hope to keep the property in the family for 
many years to come. 

Submitted by Thomas William Cochran 


The Israel farm is a well known landmark 
in the middle of South Hominy Valley in the 
Candler section of Buncombe County. 

The Israel homeplace. 

In 1848, Jesse T. Israel and his brother, 
Thomas Israel, purchased 550 acres from 
their uncle, Russel Jones, in the heart of Hom- 
iny Valley. After the death of Thomas Israel, 
Jesse T. Israel inherited his brother's share. 
After the death of Jesse T. Israel, in 1 894, his 
youngest song, Russel Lonzo Israel, pur- 
chased the original homestead and the house 
his father, Jesse T. Israel, built in 1859. The 
present owner is Jesse L. Israel, Jr. He pur- 
chased in 1961 the homestead from his grand- 
mother, Anna Israel, who was the widow of 
Russel Lonzo Israel. 

Betty and Jesse Israel are the parents of 
David Ronald Israel, Lonnie Alan Israel and 
Janet Strickland. Jesse, David and Lonnie are 
in business together in the corporation. Janet 
operates seven greenhouses at the farm with 
Jesse. David and Lonnie operate the Garden 
Center at the WNC Farmers Market. David 
and Lonnie have degrees from N.C. State 
University in Ornamental Horticulture. 
Greenhouse plants and nursery stock grown 
on the farm of Jesse Israel and Sons Nursery 
are well known to the people of western North 
Carolina. It is one phase of agriculture that 
has held the same farm together for so many 
years. It has been in the same name for over 
140 years. Jesse Israel has five grandchildren 
and hopes all or part of them will keep the 
business and farm going. 

Submitted by Jesse Israel 

Burke County 


The land which Ivey E. Lowman owns 
came by his grandfather, Salvanus Deal, who 
purchased it through land grants from about 
1 850 to 1875 (the records at our County Seal 
are not exactly clear because he had many 
[maybe 200 parcels] and he gave Ivey's father, 
Zeb Lowman, the parcel he owns now). Ivey 
has given his son, Mr. Norman Lowman, part 
of his land. 

The first homesite has been gone at least 80 
years. It was destroyed by fire. Ivey built the 
next home in 1 94 1 , and remodeled it in 1956. 

The homeplace was partly farmed until 
about 1935 or 1936. In 1947 Ivey cleared out 
about two acres where he lives at present. 

At one time there were signs of an Indian 
settlement that was on this property and there 

are a few graves on it now. 

Submitted by Ivey E. Lowman 


John (NMI) Martin born October 27, 
1822, moved from Cabarrus County. In 1854, 
he purchased by estimation 60 square rods for 
$.50. In February 22, 1 860, he purchased 1 80 
acres from Conrad Hildebrand s heirs, Noah 
Hildebrand and others at public sale at Burke 
County Courthouse for $191. Additional 
land of 69 acres was purchased from Jacob 
Mull's heirs March 3, 1 885, for $298. Several 
small tracts also were purchased. This land is 
located in Lower Fork Township in Burke 
County near Camp Creek and Catawba 
County Line. 

The Martins, along with farming, ran a 
store that also was the Chestnut Post Office. 

John Martin passed away in 1882, leaving 
the farm to his wife, Lovina and two sons, 
John W. Martin and James Monroe Martin. 
James M. Martin was appointed Postmaster 
October 24, 1 884, of Chestnut Post Office 
under Postmaster General Frank Hatton. 
James also had a job as bookkeeper for the 
federal government and was justice of the 
peace. Lovina passed away in 1901, leaving 
the farm to John W. Martin. In 1927, John 
passed away, leaving the farm to his wife, 
Susan Rhoney Martin. James Herman Mar- 
tin and his father, James Alexander Martin 
farmed the land raising wheat, corn, soybeans 
and other small grain. They also had some 
chickens, milk cows, sheep and hogs. They 
also rented several farms in the area. 

In the late 1940s, they went to raising beef 
cattle along with their crops. 

James Herman Martin and Luke Cline 
were the first to bring Charolais cattle to 
Burke County in 1 960. They purchased a bull 
from Dr. Harrell in Lincoln County. 

Since 1968, James Herman Martin and 
wife, Gloria Mull Martin and two sons, Philip 
Herman Martin and James David Martin 
have continued to farm the land and other 
farms in the area. 

There are over 200 acres in the Martin fam- 
ily being farmed or rented for farming. 

Submitted by J. Herman and Gloria M. Martin 


In 1 882, Theodore C. McGimsey and wife, 
Martha Gibbs McGimsey, bought 200 acres 
of land along Irish Creek in the Table Rock 
section of Burke County from a Mr. Patton. It 
was originally part of the John Warlick 750 
acre farm bought for $ 1 500 in the early 1 800s 

The McGimsey farm built around 1886-87. 


Burke — Cabanas 

This house on the Sisk century farm was built before 1850. It was remodeled in 1 900 and 1901 with an addi- 
tion of a dining room, kitchen, pantry and porches. This picture of Pinkney, his wife, Sophia, and sons. Earl 
and Beattie, was taken in 1901. 

from John Caldwell who had bought it from a 
Mr. Alexander for $600. 

Theodore McGimsey (November 15, 
1835-March 13, 1929) was the fourth genera- 
tion of McGimseys to live in Burke County. 
His great-grandfather, John, and grandfather, 
Joseph Lewis, came from Virginia and settled 
in the Linville area where his father, Joseph 
Alphonso, also later lived and farmed. After 
serving in the Civil War, he married and lived 
on his uncle John Collett's farm before mov- 
ing to Irish Creek. The family first lived in a 
log house built by the Warlicks. In 1 886- 1 887, 
they built the present house on a hill overlook- 
ing the valley. "Theo" was a very orderly, 
methodical, successful farmer. He kept 
account and record books. He had a black- 
smith shop where he mended and made tools. 
The grapevines he set out are still bearing. 

At his death, the farm passed to his son, 
Joseph Alphonso ("Fons"), and wife, Lucille 
Hood McGimsey. She (now living at 1 00) has 
passed it on to two children — David W. 
McGimsey, a beef farmer, and Margaret E. 
McGimsey, a retired teacher. Through the 
years, additional adjoining tracts have been 
bought and the farm now has a total of 277 
acres, 75 acres of which are in pasture for the 
herd of beef cattle. David took over the farm 
in 1955 when his father ("Fons") died. He has 
continued to improve and use recommended 
practices on the farm. 

There has always been a strong family love 
for the land and for this beautiful spot under 
the Table Rock. Submitted by D. W. McGimsey 


In the northwestern part of Burke County 
in the shadow of Table Rock Mountain, along 
both sides of Roses Creek, lies the Sisk Centu- 
ry farm. In 1851, Selena and Bartlett Sisk paid 
their taxes of $ 1.50 for 600 acres. This proper- 
ty came to Selena from her parents, John and 
Elizabeth Warlick. 

Selena and Bartlett had four sons: Sidney, 
Phillip, John and Pinkney and two daughters, 
Jane and Lizzie. 

This was a self-sustaining farm which 
included the raising of corn, wheat, peas, 
chickens, hogs, cattle, milk cows, molasses, 
timber, etc. 

In 1 895, Pinkney and his wife, Sophia, paid 
Bartlett $400 for 600 acres of land. They 
raised four boys and three girls. 

In 1926, Beattie, the second eldest son of 
Pinkney and Sophia, built a small home on 
the farm which they called the Teeny House 
to separate it from the big house. He stayed on 
the farm, building chicken houses, raising 
chickens, teaching school and driving a 
school bus until 1 928, when he decided to go 
into the Methodist ministry full time, which 
was his first love. 

After the death of Pinkney in 1933, until 
1947, the land was leased by tenant farmers. 
In 1943, when the property was divided into 
eight different parcels, the acreage was down 
to approximately 500 acres due to a differ- 
ence in prior deeds. At this time, Beattie A. 
Sisk and his wife, Belle, bought his older 
brother's share of about 60 acres, which 
brought his to approximately 120 acres. 
When he died in 1 949, his property was left to 
his widow. 

In 1 947, a couple of years after their return 
from the service, Robert B. and Charles W. 

Sisk, sons of Beattie and Belle, and Robert's 
family moved to the Teeny house, since their 
grandmother and aunt still lived in the big 
house. They rented the land from their aunts 
and uncles and farmed together about five 
years trying to build a white-faced Hereford 
cattle farm. Charles loved the farm but like his 
father, the Methodist Church beckoned. So in 
1953, Robert started a dairy herd consisting 
of Holsteins. In 1 950, he bought 50 acres from 
one of his uncles and in the next several years, 
he bought back all but 1 00 acres of the original 
500 acres, including a 52 acre tract that had 
been sold by Pinkney in the late 1 890s. 

The century farm land still has the Sisk 
home built prior to 1 850. It has been continu- 
ously occupied since it was built until June, 
1986, and is in the process of being restored 
now. Submitted by Robert B. Sisk 

Cabarrus County 


In January, 1885, Rufus Valentine and 
Mary Rose Barnhardt purchased 81.25 acres 
of land in Cabarrus County. This original 
tract, situated in Number 9 Township and 
located two and one half miles south of Mt. 
Pleasant, was bought for $725. At this time, 
only five acres contained clear land which was 
farmed in cotton, corn, wheat and oats. The 
couple built their homeplace around 1900, 

A painting of the original homeplace of Rufus Barn- 
hardt, created by his great-grandson, George 
Lindley Barnhardt. 

and a log barn which also was constructed 
remained in use for the next 80 years. 

One of five children, Frank Alexander 
Barnhardt, remained at the homeplace. He 
and his wife, Dora, along with Rufus, contin- 
ued to work the land, clearing an additional 
60 acres for crops and pastures. In 1926, 
Frank and Dora purchased 2.5 acres of 
adjoining property from E.T. Bost. Upon the 
death of Rufus Barnhardt, the original prop- 
erty was willed to Frank and Dora on May 23, 

Their son, George Frank Barnhardt, 
showed interest in farming and as a teenager 
began to raise poultry. After his tour of duty in 
World War II, George and his wife, Margie, 
returned to the farm. In 1946, they acquired 
another 58 acres from the Sidney Cox place 
and purchased a tractor and other farm 
machinery. Hogs were now raised, and truck 
farming initiated. 

Growth of the farm continued in the 1 960s 
as a herd of beef cattle was started and two 
ponds were built. George and Margie inherit- 
ed the original Barnhardt estate in 1 967. Dur- 
ing the 1 970s, additional properties were pur- 
chased which contained wood and croplands. 
The homeplace of Rufus Barnhardt burned in 

Presently, the combined lands contain over 
225 acres. Now retired from farming and for- 
ty-four years of public work, George rents out 
most of the croplands, but still maintains a 
garden plot which was once cultivated by his 
grandfather. Plans to keep the century farm 
within the family exist since two more genera- 
tions of Barnhardts continue to live in the 
area. Submitted by George F. Barnhardt 


William Cochran born in 1 752, came from 
Ireland (with his parents and brothers and sis- 
ters) by way of Pennsylvania, to North Caroli- 
na. He settled on Footy Creek in Cabarrus 
County in 1 799, receiving a land grant from 
the State of North Carolina of 1 50 acres. 

William married Margery McGinnis, born 
1772. Each was born in Ireland. Both the 
McGinnis and Cochran families were Scot 


James and Louisa Welch Cochran, (ten) children 
and grandchildren, circa 1912. 

Associate Presbyterians. This couple had five 
sons, all of whom are buried at Back Creek 
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 
Mecklenburg County, and each son has 
descendants still active in this congregation. 
Their only daughter married late in life and 
died without issue. William Cochran is bur- 
ied at Rocky River Presbyterian Church 
(Spears Graveyard). His wife, Margery, is 
buried at Back Creek. We can only assume 
that after his death his family joined in the 
forming of Bethany/Back Creek A.R.P. 
Church when the singing of hymns was intro- 
duced into Rocky River. Associates and Asso- 
ciate Reformed Presbyterians sang Psalms 

This land will soon have been farmed for 
200 years. Eugene Wilson Cochran and his 
wife, Mary, live on the farm at another loca- 
tion. Eugene (great-great-great-grandson of 
William) continues to farm the land raising 
beef cattle and grains. 

William and Margery's third son, Joseph, 
built on the land approximately x h mile from 
the homesite. This house, built about 1 820, is 
also of logs. In 1850, Joseph purchased 30 
acres from the State of North Carolina for 
$5.00 for every 100 acres; in 1854 he pur- 
chased from the State of North Carolina five 
acres of land at $.05 an acre, and in 1 856, he 
purchased from the State of North Carolina 
10.5 acres at $.12 per acre. These tracts 
adjoined Joseph's original acreage. Joseph 
and his first wife, Ester Ross, lost two sons 
(William and Joseph) in the Civil War. 

Joseph married the third time to Martha 
Sample. Their youngest son remained in the 
house. Across from the house was a lumber 
mill, grist mill and cotton gin. James and Lou- 
isa's grandson, Junius Grier Cochran and 
wife, Mary, live in this house today. 

Submitted by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Cochrane 


David Moose came to America on the good 
ship "Brother" from Rotterdam, Holland in 
1751, and landed in Pennsylvania. 

Since 1 784, seven generations of Mooses 
have been landowners and farmers in Cabar- 
rus County. David's son, Jacob Moose, came 
to North Carolina in 1784, and purchased 
220 acres of land on Little Bear Creek near 
Mt. Pleasant. His son, George, one of nine 
children, continued to live at the homeplace 
and farm after his father's death in 1 804. John 
Fritch, one of five children, was born here and 
married and continued to live in the same 
house until his death in 1927. His son, John 

Wade, one of nine children, was born here. 
When he married, they built a house at the top 
of the hill from the old homeplace. At his 
father's death, he was willed 72.5 acres (This 
is part of the 220 acres of the century farm 
land). He purchased additional land of 1 1 2.5 
acres. His son, John Forrest, one of four chil- 
dren, born 1909, married and built a house 
about 400 yards from the old homeplace. He 
purchased additional land and farmed, raised 
beef cattle and hogs until his death in 1972. 
His widow and their daughter, Lynda M. 
Boger and her family have lived in this house 
since then and her husband, Howard, has con- 
tinued to farm. At present they have a large 
beef cattle herd and grow small grains and 
hay. They have three daughters: Amy, Lori 
and Terri, the oldest, who is married and lives 
next door to the old homeplace. 

Submitted by Mrs. J.F. Moose 


Morgan A. Walker was born May 23, 1 835. 
According to records on March 14, 1859, Paul 
B.C. Smith surveyed, with Calvin McGraw 
and D.C. Faggart — Chain Bearers. The prop- 
erty was bought from John Faggart. A total of 
209.25 acres was purchased by Morgan A. 
Walker. He was a member of the historic St. 
John's Lutheran Church which was organized 
in 1745. 

The Morgan A. Walker homeplace, constructed 

In December 1858, Morgan married Mar- 
garet C. Moose. Two sons were born to this 
union: George Henry, in 1859 and John 
Davis Walker, in 1861. The only education 
they had was in a one room log school for two 
or three months a year, heated only with a 

Morgan and Margaret lived in a log cabin 
on the land they were farming. Construction 
for the house began in 1 860. It was not com- 
pleted before it was necessary for him to enter 
the Civil War in about 1 862. He was a private 
in Army. In July 1 863, Morgan was wounded 
and later died in battle near Fredrickburg, 

His widow hired men to do minimum farm- 
ing and complete the interior of the house. 
They had one slave. The family called him 
"Uncle Jack Walker." He remained with the 
family after the Civil War ended. When the 
boys were old enough, they took over the farm 
and supported their mother from the farm. 

Later the farm was equally divided between 
the two sons. John remained on the farm, and 
married Minnie R. Faggart and they had chil- 
dren, six girls and five boys. John farmed until 
his death in 1936. The youngest daughter, 

Arnie Walker Peninger, continues residing on 
75 acres of land with a portion being farmed. 

The house with 50 acres of land was sold in 
1978 to Mr. Eugene Boelte. It is presently 
being restored and the farm back in full family 
operation. Submitted by Annie Peninger 


Six generations of the Pless family have 
owned and worked the same 80 acres of land 
since the mid-1 700s. This tract of land is 
located in Cabarrus County, Township 5, at 
the Rowan County line. Christopher Pless, a 
German emigrant, settled this land which he 
purchased in 1 762. 

Over the next 200 years, Christopher's 
descendants, Henry, Jacob, Daniel, Welker, 
and Carl grew corn, cotton, small grains, 
watermelons and sweet potatoes. Livestock 
on the farm included beef cattle, swine, chick- 
ens, turkeys and sheep. 

Jacob Pless, a grandson of Christopher, 
operated a custom tannery from the mid to 
late 1800s. According to the tanning records, 
neighbors brought all types of hides to be 
tanned. He used some of the leather to make 
shoes in his shop. 

Several old structures still stand on this 80 
acre site: a hewn log barn, a shoe shop, and a 
hewn log smoke house. The barn was built 
during the late 1700s. A later addition con- 
tains a threshing floor. At the present time, 
Carl D. Pless, Sr. uses all these structures. 

Submitted by Carl D. Pless, Sr. 


In October 1 770, Adam Walcher (Walker) 
purchased 1 00 acres on Dutch Buffalo Creek 
from Jacob and Catharine Richey (Ritchie). 
This is recorded in Mecklenburg Deed Book 
5-153. On October 9, 1783, Adam Walcher 
secured a state grant (#276) for 914 acres on 
Dutch Buffalo Creek in Mecklenburg Deed 
Book 1 2-655. There is a spring that is "walled 
up" with native rocks on a hill near the creek 
where the original Walker house was built. 

John W. Walker reared his family in this, the Walk- 
er house. 

September 4, 1 970, Adam Walker and wife, 
Christina sold 9 1 acres of his old plantation to 
Jacob Ritchie and 1 00 acres to Henry Walker. 
This land was a part of 245 acres which was 
granted to Jacob Ritchie on June 25, 1 764 by 
Arthur Dobbs. 

Adam Walcher, who was born on May 16, 
1 722, died October 7, 1 80 1 . In his will which 
is dated July 5, 1800, his land was divided 
among his children, Michael, Henry, Freder- 
ick, Elizabeth, Catherina and Barbara (Barba- 


Cabanas — Caldwell 

ra was deceased so it was divided between her 

Henry Walker had a son, Henry born Octo- 
ber 1, 1810, and died April 17, 1887. This 
Henry had a son, John W. Walker, born 
August 14, 1 84 1 . A new house was built where 
young John reared a large family. While serv- 
ing the south, John was engaged in battles in 
Maryland and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He 
was so impressed with the barns there that he 
came home and built one like he had seen. 
Most of this barn is still standing. He died 
March 28, 191 6. The land was divided among 
his children. One of the children was John 
Turner Walker, born August 4, 1880, and 
died July 4, 1 966. Sarah E. Walker and Edith 
Walker, daughters of John T., now own about 
1 50 acres of the original land. It is the wish 
that this land will continue to be in the Walker 
line of heirs. Submitted by M. Edith Walker 

Caldwell County 


In 1774 Peter Thompson purchased 217 
acres of prime farmland and timber along the 
Lower Creek and quickly built a rude long 
cabin. Late in 1 774, he began to build his wife 
"a real home." Sometime in 1775 the house 
was finished. Peter Thompson died about 
1830, and the farm and blacksmith shop 
passed into the hands of John Thompson, the 
youngest son. 

The old Bartles house in Lenoir, N. C. 

John continued in his father's footsteps, 
hammering out a living in the blacksmith 
shop and also selling produce off the farm. 

John died July 19, 1855, and the old house 
passed on to a son, Elkanah. 

When Elkanah took up residence in the old 
house, the cabin built by Peter was long gone, 
but the magnificent five-room "main house" 
and the adjoining three-room "kitchen 
house" were as good as new. The farm had 
grown, with an addition to the blacksmith 
shop, a granary, a wagon-house, and a larger 
barn having been built. 

After a time, Elkanah decided it was best if 
the family moved to Lenoir, but he wanted to 
keep the old house in the family. The problem 

was solved when James Richard Swanson, 
who had married Elkanah's daughter, Mary 
Lucy Thompson, offered to swap the home- 
stead for his property in Lenoir. The transac- 
tion was made in 1915. 

J.R. Swanson, also a blacksmith, added a 
piece of history to the property when he built 
a shed out of logs and lumber from the old 
Hibriten School. 

Upon J.R.'s death, the old house became 
the property of his son, Richard D. Swanson. 
J.R.'s wife lived in the old house until shortly 
before her death, after which it was rented for 
a short time. Richard's daughter, Rebecca 
Davis, and her family lived in the old house 
from 1936 to 1966. Richard's other daughter, 
Brenda Bartles, and her husband, lived in the 
old house from 1968 to 1970 until their new 
home was built beside the old home. 

The 2 1 7 acres have dwindled to eleven. The 
wagon house and granary have been torn 
down and the blacksmith shop was demol- 
ished in the late 1950s. After 196 years, pro- 
viding home for many families, it is empty 
and showing signs of age. The old house still 
stands, nestled among the ancient walnut and 
cedar trees, the hitching post still there in the 
front yard. Submitted by Mrs. Brenda Bartles 


Zeror Beach was born in April, 1837. He 
was one of 1 5 children whose parents lived in 
eastern Caldwell County. 

Zeror Beach and wife, Lizzie. 

In 1861, the Civil War was speeding up and 
Zeror became a member of the 2nd Co. from 
Caldwell County under Capt. Rankin. In the 
war years, he was wounded twice, the last time 
most seriously at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 
in 1863. He was given 90 days furlough and 
made his way home. For some reason the fur- 
lough was extended another 90 days, after 
which he reported back for duty in Virginia. 
He was soon captured by the enemy near 
Appomattox and held until the war's end in 

Some time after returning home, Zeror 
started buying small plots of land. His first 
deed, registered in 1871 in Lenoir, was for a 
small section of land near Kings Creek. In that 
year he married Sarah Elizabeth Maltba. In 
1 886, he recorded three more deeds, and two 
more in 1889 and 1890. During these years, 
he and Lizzie had nine children. Zeror died in 
1894, leaving a wife and seven children with 
ages ranging from 22 to 5. The oldest, W.R. 
Beach, went off to school and became a Bap- 
tist minister. The second son, Henry Malone 
Beach, stayed at home to help his mother and 
the younger children. 

Malone became a teacher, teaching in the 
schools of Caldwell County for some 25 years. 
H.M. Beach was married in 1907 to Clara 
Edna Hass. They had four children. Ruby 
Beach Carlton, was the third child. 

As time passed and the family grew, more 
acreage was added to the farm. The first deed 
recorded in 1900 was followed by twelve 
more deeds until 1 953. 

They raised cattle, hogs, chickens and 
sheep. The farm produced corn, wheat, oats, 
rye and potatoes. They regularly sold eggs, 
chickens, milk and produce. The grain crops 
were used for feed for the animals, and some- 
times taken to the nearest mill to be ground 
into flour and meal for bread. There were 
apple trees of several varieties, a peach 
orchard, pear trees and an abundant supply of 
berries. Clara canned and dried summer 
fruits and vegetables, and canned meats from 
the butchered animals. The family bought 
very few groceries as they had such a variety 
of foods at home. After the REA brought elec- 
tricity to the area, many improvements were 
made in food preservation by the use of the 
freezer and refrigerator. 

Ruby Beach Carlton's father, H.M. Beach 
(Malone), was a farmer, a teacher, a lumber- 
man, and Baptist lay leader for more than six- 
ty years. He died at 81 in 1956. The farm, 
more than 200 acres by that time, was divided 
by his will. His only son Horace Beach, was 
given the area north of Highway 1 8 (east of 
Lenoir) and Ruby Beach Carlton received the 
area on the south side of the same stretch of 
Highway 18. Horace died at 49, and his son, 
Neil Beach, now looks after the farm which is 
rented — both pastures and house. 

Some four years ago Ruby had 50 acres of 
woodland cut and white pines were planted. 
They seem to be growing well. The N.C. For- 
est Service in Lenoir was Ruby's advisor in 
this project. Submitted by Mrs. Ruby B. Carlton 


The Hagler farm, located in Caldwell 
County, Grandin Community, Tom Dooley 
Road, has been in the Hagler family for eight 

The Hagler house, built in 1832 by William Hagler. 

In 1 730, John Hagler, Sr. was born in Swit- 
zerland. He came to America as a young man 
and married Elizabeth Van Hoose in New 
York State. After their marriage, they came to 
the Carolinas and settled on the Pee Dee Riv- 
er where they owned a large farm. Due to 
chills and fever, they moved further up the 
river. Their final stop was in Wilkes County, 
this part being now Caldwell County, and 

Caldwell — Camden 

purchased a large farm at the mouth of Kings 

John Hagler lived in a sizeable log house 
located on a hill overlooking the Yadkin Riv- 
er. Later, in 1832, John's son, William, built 
a large brick home, known as Beech Hill. The 
log house was used as a kitchen. 

John and Elizabeth had a large family. 
Most of these children moved away. William, 
their sixth son, remained on the farm, mar- 
ried Elizabeth Mullins and reared a family of 
ten sons and three daughters. William fought 
in the War of 1 8 1 2. Back on the farm, he grew 
large crops of corn, oats, and tobacco and 
owned several slaves. 

The Hagler farm has been handed down for 
eight generations, first to William Hagler, son 
of John; then to Sarah Hagler Kendall, grand- 
daughter of John; then to Sarah Kendall Fer- 
guson, Sarah's daughter; then to Blanche Fer- 
guson. Edith Ferguson Carter, Blanche's 
niece, and her husband, Hill Carter, bought 
the farm from Blanche. It is now owned by 
Edith and Hill's daughter and son-in-law, 
Margaret Ferguson Carter Minton and Mon- 
ty Minton. They have a daughter, Margaret 
Lindsay Minton, who will inherit the farm. 
Margaret Lindsay Minton is the great-great- 
great-great-great-granddaughter of John 

The farm has been in the family continu- 
ously from about 1770 to the present day. 
Margaret Carter Minton's father, Hill Carter, 
still farms the land and raises beef cattle and 
crops and does timber farming. The old home 
has been restored and is on the National Reg- 
ister of Historic Places. Monty Minton did 
most of the restoration work himself. He is in 
the lumber business and Margaret is an art 
teacher and artist. We have a tremendous 
interest in the farm and hope to see it continue 
to be owned by family members. 

Submitted by Margaret Carter-Minton 


The Sherrill farm, located in southeastern 
Caldwell County is part of a land grant given 
to Joshua Perkins, the nephew of Adam Sher- 
rill, in 1 755. Adam, for whom Sherrill's farm 
was named, was the first white man to cross 
the Catawba River and settle there. His son, 
Captain William Sherrill, commissioned dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War, had a daughter, 
Mary, who married Joshua Perkins. 

Jacob Sherrill, son of Captain William 
Sherrill and brother-in-law of Joshua Perkins, 
evidently was one of the Sherrills who settled 
up river on this land. It is not known when this 
happened, perhaps before 1 800. He died in 
1831, and was buried across the Catawba Riv- 
er from the farm in Moore's Cemetery. 

The farm lies on the north side of the 
Catawba River. Originally it extended along 
the river from the Alexander, Caldwell Coun- 
ty line to the Gunpowder River. It has been 
handed down from father to son several 
times. Due to a courthouse fire, the first deed 
found in the direct line was 70 acres deeded by 
Joseph William Sherrill to John Abernathy 
Sherrill in 1 890. In 1 9 1 1 , 60 acres were deed- 
ed by John A. Sherrill to Tate H. Sherrill. 
After his death and the death of his son, Ray 
A. Sherrill, the present owner, Mary L. Sher- 
rill Teague, daughter of Tate H. Sherrill, 
received the land which is now 45 acres since 

the remaining acreage was covered by the 
backwater of Oxford Dam. 

One of the original buildings is still stand- 
ing, a century old smokehouse built of logs by 
John A. Sherrill. The other buildings are 60 or 
more years old. 

It has been a family operated farm growing 
corn, small grain, hay and garden produce. 
During some years, cotton and tobacco were 
grown as money crops. In addition to the cul- 
tivated land, there are woodlands and pasture 
for livestock. 

Submitted by Howard and Mary Teague 

Camden County 


Mary Ann Bray, an eighth generation 
North Carolinian, was born July 27, 1845, to 
Dempsey Bray, a farmer and miller, and his 
wife, Jane. Dempsey's father was Samuel 
Bray, Camden County surveyor and farmer, 
and Jane's father was William Gray, Revolu- 
tionary War soldier from Camden and after 
the War a landowner and farmer. 

Weston Williams, a Rhodes Scholar, took this pic- 
ture of the Bear Garden home on August 29, 1920 
while he was visiting "Uncle Simmie" and his fami- 
ly. The picture was taken on the present owner's first 

In 1 882, Mary Ann bought "The Bear Gar- 
den" with her inheritance from her father's 
estate. In 1866, she had married Simeon Wil- 
liams, a farmer. BearGarden became home to 
her and her growing family. The children 
were taught to love work and to have a thirst 
for knowledge. Charles was sent to Wake For- 
est where he graduated summa cum laude. 

Mary Ann died in 1 903. Her sons, Simeon 
and Nathan, bought the shares of Bear Gar- 
den inherited by Ella and Molly, and Charles, 
who had become an educator and writer. Sim- 
eon married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Needham, a 
school teacher from Camden in 1905. They 
had three sons: Worth, 1912; Bailey, 1914 
and Charles, 1919. Worth was killed by a 
drunken driver in 1 930. Times were hard dur- 
ing the Depression, but somehow Simeon and 
Lizzie managed to send Bailey and Charles to 
Duke University, where Bailey graduated in 
1941 and Charles in 1942. They joined the 
U.S. Navy for the duration of World War II in 
August of 1 942. upon their release to inactive 
duty in 1946, Simeon gave Bailey a farm he 
had bought in 1 909, and to Charles he gave his 
share of Bear Garden. Bailey sold his farm to 
Charles and later became Plant Manager of a 
children's clothing manufacturer in Forest 

Charles and his wife, Aiko, a Regional Ser- 
vice Representative with the N.C. Depart- 
ment of Social Services until her retirement in 
1988, raised their six children on Bear Gar- 
den. All are married now. Worth is manager 
of a utility company; Lynn is a floral designer 
(she decorated Tryon Palace for the Christ- 
mas season for the past two years); Giles is a 
CPA in Chapel Hill; Camille is a clinical ther- 
apist; Suzanne is Directorof Personnel for the 
N.C. Department of Commerce; and Simeon 
is a farmer. There are fourteen grandchildren. 

Giles bought the remaining shares of Bear 
Garden in 1986 and Simeon now tends the 
entire farm. His farm operation which 
includes several farms owned by him, his 
brother Giles, and his father is called "Bear 
Garden Farms" in honor of his great- 
grandmother who bought Bear Garden one 
hundred and seven years ago. 

This century farm has been a wholesome 
place for the children of each generation who 
lived here. Submitted by Charles B. Williams 


Though early forebears settled around the 
Hampton Roads area in Virginia, there were 
Ferebee landowners in northeastern North 
Carolina by the early 1 700s. 

L to R: William LaRue, Assistant Editor, "The Pro- 
gressive Farmer," 'presents 1961 Master Farm 
Family Award to Ed, "Harry, "and Clay Ferebee. 

Ferebee holdings in Camden County today 
include the original 400 acres owned by Miles 
and Matilda Grandy Lamb, whose daughter, 
Miriam, married Edmund Ferebee in 1847. 
This began the Ferebee line of ownership, 
though the Lamb family had holdings prior to 
that date. 

In 1900, Miles Lamb's grandson, Henry 
Clay Ferebee, ran the farm with cattle and cot- 
ton as his main crops. His son, Henry Clay 
Ferebee, Jr., bought out the other heirs at 
their father's death in 1 929, and he continued 
with the cattle and cotton and added hogs and 
vegetable crops. 

"Harry" Ferebee, as he was affectionately 
called, developed a highly respected produce 
business and prospered. The original 400 
acres grew to 700 by 1 940. After World War II 
Harry and Sallie Ferebee's sons, Henry Clay, 
III, and John Edwin, came home to help their 
father and began an expansion program 
which grew to 1 400 acres. Production concen- 
trated on cabbage, potatoes, sweet corn and 
grain and a registered Aberdeen Angus herd. 
Marketing stretched all along the east coast 
and into Canada. 

At Harry Ferebee's death, the sons contin- 
ued the operation and increased acreage to 
2200, all working around the original 400. 
Clay and Ed continued their partnership until 


1 985, when the land was divided. The original 
homeplace is still the center of a farming oper- 
ation with both brothers farming a portion in 
their divided share. 

Great-great-great-grandchildren of Miles 
and Matilda Lamb are now working the land 
and a new generation of children are on the 
way to carry on the legacy. The family ceme- 
tery behind the original homeplace bears tes- 
timony to the long line of family landowners 
who have tilled the soil for over 1 50 years. 

Submitted by Mrs. Clay Ferebee 


The 225 acre farm and house are located in 
Camden County on a state road which is now 
named "Mullen Drive," and faces the Dismal 
Swamp Canal which was surveyed by George 
Washington and is a part of the Intracoastal 
Waterway. It was owned by John Old from 
1 826- 1 830; by William Old from 1 830- 1 868; 
and by Dr. F.N. Mullen from 1868-1900. Dr. 
Mullen willed it to his brother, Stephen, who 
in turn deeded it to his eldest son, Francis 
Newby Mullen in 1900. Mullen rented a part 
out on shares, tending his part with horses and 
mules, also raising hogs, cows, chickens and 
geese. When he passed away in 1 960, the farm 
was inherited by his children, one of whom 
was Herbert T. Mullen, Sr., who rented the 
farm out on shares as he was in business. The 
crops were and still are wheat, corn and beans. 
In the early 1 900s, there were no roads to the 
market, so the produce was loaded on barges 
and sent to Norfolk, some 30 miles away by 
way of the canal. 

The John Old home from 1826-30, at which time it 
was sold to William Old. Now owned by the Mullen 
Family and called "Oakley Cottage. " 

At the death of Herbert T. Mullen, Sr., in 
1 979, the farm was inherited by his son, Her- 
bert T. Mullen Jr., and daughter, Rebecca M. 
Tarkington, in whose names it is recorded. 

A large well kept barn is still used. The sta- 
bles were torn down in 1984. Still standing are 
the house, milk house, smokehouse, privy, 
and the well which is used to water the 40 
sheep. It is covered for safety purposes. A 
family cemetery is located in the field. 

Florence Vienna Old, daughter of William 
Old and great-grandmother of Herbert and 
Rebecca was born in the now standing house 
in 1850; married to Stephen Mullen here — 
died 1933, in this same house where she was 
living with her son, F.N. Mullen, Sr. 

Submitted by Herbert T. Mullen, Jr. 


Bailey Cartwright Needham was 29 when 
he bought this farm on January 25, 1886. He 
was named after his grandfather and was a 
descendant of Thomas Needham and Marga- 
ret Bayley Needham who moved from Virgin- 
ia to the Camden area and bought land in 

The Bailey Needham family, 1897 — L to R: Nan- 
nie, Bailey, Charlie, John (holding hat), Baby 
Ferebee, Bettie, Lizzie and Jane. 

Bailey had married Bettie Lamb, daughter 
of Isaac Lamb and Jane Gregory Lamb on 
January 29, 1882. When they moved to their 
new home in 1 886, they had a three year old 
son, Charles, and a one year old daughter, 
Elizabeth or Lizzie as she was called. Bailey 
settled down to farming and later he kept a 
country store next to the house for many 
years. As the years passed other children were 
born: Nannie, 1889; Jane, 1890; and John, 
1 892. The last was Ferebee, born in 1 896, who 
died young. Charles grew up to farm with his 
father and they each bought other farms near- 
by. Lizzie was sent to the Elizabeth City Acad- 
emy and became a school teacher. Nannie 
married a farmer. Charles and Jane, neither 
married, continued to live on the farm after 
their father's death in 1 908 until their mother 
died in 1927. Lizzie married Simeon Bray 
Williams, a farmer, in 1905. They are sur- 
vived by two children, Bailey Needham Wil- 
liams and Charles Bray Williams. 

When Bettie died in 1927, her other chil- 
dren sold their interest in the farm to Nannie 
and Jane. Nannie died in 1953. Charles had 
died in 1940 leaving no children and Nannie 
and Jane had no children. After Jane's death 
in 1975, John's children (Retha, Norma and 
Joan) and Bailey sold their shares in the farm 
to Bailey's brother, Charles. 

The old house has been vacant now for a 
long time. Many of the windows are broken 
and vines and briars have grown over the long 
porch where the children played. Some of 
Charles' earliest and happiest recollections 
are of visits to grandmother's house. She was 
the only grandparent Charles ever knew. 
Charles, along with his brother and cousins, 
would play in the yard and up the lane 
referred to in the original deed as the "Need- 
ham Lane." When they were called to the din- 
ner table that was a treat fit for a king. Their 
Aunt Jane would read us children stories or 
play the phonograph for us. Charles thought 
he had never seen anything so marvelous in 
his life. 

Charles' son, Simeon, tends the farm now. 
He is married to the former Catherine Byrun 

and they have two children, Courtney and 
Simeon or "Simmie." He tends several other 
farms, including two of his own. Catherine is 
a dental hygienist. Simeon is 29 and Courtney 
is two just as his great-grandfather and grand- 
mother were one hundred and three years ago 
when Bailey Cartwright Needham bought this 
farm. Submitted by Charles Bray Williams 


South Mills in Camden County is the home 
of an historic farm known as the "Battle- 
ground." This farm has been passed down 
through seven generations of the Sawyer fam- 
ily. The first 50 acres of the farm were pur- 
chased by William Sawyer on December 10, 
1 843, from Matchet Taylor for $300. William 
later bought 175 more acres from Matchet 
Taylor on January 25, 1847, for $240. This 
began the long history of the Sawyer family 
farm. William Sawyer's son, Grandy Sawyer 
inherited the farm from his father on January 
26, 1868, but not before the farm gained its 

The third and fourth generation owners of the "Bat- 
tleground. " The third generation owner, Charles 
Sawyer, and his wife, Dorothy, are seated in the pic- 
ture. The fourth generation owner, Eunice Sawyer 
Rhodes, is standing in the second row on the far left. 
Hazel Albertson's father, Herbert Sawyer, is stand- 
ing in the second row. 

On April 1 9, 1 862, an important battle dur- 
ing the Civil War took place on the Sawyer 
family farm. This battle, known as the "Battle 
of Sawyer's Lane" or the "Battle of South 
Mills" was fought for control of the locks at 
South Mills which controlled the level of 
water in the strategic Dismal Swam Canal. A 
small Confederate force of 450 men success- 
fully turned back a Yankee force of between 
2,000 and 3,000 troops. One of the keys to the 
success of the battle was a large trench that 
was dug across the field and into the woods by 
the Confederate forces. There was also a large 
drainage ditch that the Confederate troops 
filled with wood and set afire. The smoke 
blew in the direction of the Yankee troops and 
obscured the Confederate soldiers from view. 
This ditch became known as the roasted 
ditch. The ditch and part of the trench are still 
visible to this day. 

Grandy Sawyer farmed the land until Sep- 
tember 20, 1889, when he left the land to his 
son, Charlie Sawyer. Charlie Sawyer main- 
tained the farm through the first half of the 
20th century during which time farming tech- 
niques changed drastically. Corn, soybeans 
and cotton were the primary crops grown on 
the battleground during those years. Cotton 
declined in popularity due to the amount of 

Camden — Carteret — Cas well 

labor involved and crops such as small grains 
that required mechanical harvesters replaced 

Charlie Sawyer's daughter, Eunice Rhodes 
inherited the farm on September 5, 1950. 
Shortly before this time, one of Charlie Saw- 
yer's granddaughters, Hazel Albertson and 
her husband, Jarvis Albertson, began farming 
the land. They continued farming the land for 
Eunice Rhodes along with their son and son- 
in-law. Albertson Farms, Inc. was later 
formed with Jarvis, his son, Melvin Albert- 
son, and his son-in-law, Randolph Keaton. 
Albertson Farms, Inc. purchased the Battle- 
ground from Eunice Rhodes on September 1, 
1978. Melvin's son, Melvin Ray Albertson, 
Jr. later joined the corporation and marks the 
seventh generation of Sawyers. 

Albertson Farms, Inc. plans to continue 
farming the battleground as it strives to main- 
tain the proud heritage that was begun in 
1 843. Submitted by Randy Keaton 


Mark R. Gregory was born July 12, 1825, 
died November 26, 1 886. He married Melissa 
Brown. They had several children and they 
were all born here at the homeplace. 

One was Saresta Ann Gregory, born 
November 16, 1848, married George Dana 
Broadman Pritchard November 19, 1872, 
died April 16, 1893. She left this farm to her 
children (she had seven, two of whom died 

Maude Pritchard (born June 6, 1884) was 
one of her children. She married Charles 
Hughes Walston. They had three children: 
Maxine Walston, Carol Walston and Charles 
Hughes Walston, Jr. She died August 21, 1957 
and left this farm to the three children. 

Charles Hughes Walston, Jr. bought his sis- 
ter's part. He married Sarah E. Tarkington. 
He died July 15, 1985, and left the farm to 
Sarah. Sarah has one son, Charles Francis 
Walston, and the farm will go to him at her 
death. Submitted by Sarah Tarkington Walston 

Carteret County 


In 1842, Benjamin Hardesty purchased 
property which became known as Hardesty 
Farm. Today Benjamin's great-grandson, 
Archie R. Hardesty, and his wife, Sadie, are 
still farming the land. 

The Hardesty house, Carteret County. 

At the time of the purchase, there was a 
house on the property in which Benjamin and 
his wife, Euphamy, raised their family, a total 

of 16 children. It was known as the "Big 
House" and one of the upstairs rooms was 
used as a schoolroom during the week. On 
Saturdays dances were held and on Sunday 
mornings church services were held in the 
schoolroom. In the attic, a loom was built 
under the eaves. Large rafters were used in 
constructing the house and were put together 
with wooden pegs. The stair railings were also 
pegged. The original flooring, chair railing, 
doors and windows are in use today. Since 
purchased by the Hardestys the house has 
never spent a night alone. 

During the Civil War the older sonsjoined 
the Confederate Army and were stationed at 
Fort Macon. They contracted diphtheria and 
were sent home. The disease quickly spread 
through the family taking the lives of all the 
children except William, who was six months 
old at the time. Another son, Robert E. Lee 
was born in 1 866. 

Lee inherited the farm and married Idora 
Weeks. Again the house was full of children, a 
total of 12. Archie, the youngest son, inherit- 
ed the farm upon his father's death in 1953. 
He married Sadie Small and together they 
brought three more children to the old house. 

The land has always been used to support 
the family. In the early days, they had turpen- 
tine trees, tar beds, rice patties, orchards and 
grape arbors, as well as a garden and the field 
crops. There was also a wind-driven grist mill 
which they used not only to grind their own 
meal, but also that of people from miles 
around. Today the millstones are lying in the 

As time went on the crops changed. In the 
early 1930s, Archie started "truck farming" 
with cabbage, beans, potatoes, sweet pota- 
toes, corn, soybeans, tobacco and cotton. And 
there was always a milk cow or two, pigs, 
chickens and turkeys. Today, aside from a 
five acre garden, the main crops are corn and 
soybeans. Submitted by Linda H. Miller 

Caswell County 


William Bradley Bowe ( 1 808- 1 880) owned 
several hundred acres of land two miles north 
of Yanceyville. Besides his holdings of a num- 
ber of slaves, he owned and operated a leather 
tannery. His daughter, Hulda G. Bowe ( 1 84 1 - 
1926), inherited 157 acres of land from her 
father in 1867, when she married Felix M. 
Neal, who farmed the land until his death. 
There was one daughter, Ada, by this mar- 

Hulda then married James D. Aldridge in 
1 882, and one daughter, Mable, and one son, 
William Preston, were by this marriage. 
James D. Aldridge died in 1899. His son, 
Preston, arranged with his two sisters to give 
each of them $500 and promised to keep their 
mother, Hulda, for the rest of her life in 
exchange for a clear deed to the farm at the 
mother's death. They agreed. 

In 1910, Preston married Annie Lee Gunn 
and with the help of their five boys and one 
girl, farmed the land until his death in 1941. 
In his will, Preston provided for the five sur- 
viving children to inherit the farm at their 
mother's death, and ask that the land remain 
in the Aldridge family as long as possible. He 
specified that the only daughter, Ida Lee, 
receive the homeplace and 25 acres of land; 

the rest of the farm be divided equally by acres 
between the surviving boys: Jim, Ralph, 
Eugene, and William. The mother died in 
1 968 and in 1 969, the division was made. 

Ralph, Eugene and William served in the 
U.S. Army in World War II. William returned 
to the farm in 1 945 and grew beef cattle on the 
farm until the late 1970s. 

Today about 127 acres of the original farm 
is still in the family. Two of the sons live on 
this part of the farm, and all of the tillable land 
is being farmed by a neighbor. A fifth genera- 
tion member of the Aldridge family, Sandra 
Aldridge Turbeville and her husband, Jimmy, 
now own the homeplace house and farm. 
Plans are for the 27 acres owned by Ralph and 
Helen Aldridge be left to a sixth generation of 
three grandchildren and it is requested in 
their will that the land stay in the Aldridge 
family as long as possible. 

Submitted by The Ralph Aldndges 


David Lawson Brandon married Susan 
McDowell on October 1 , 1 833. They had five 
children; the youngest were twins, Louisa and 
Aniva. Aniva died when small. Mary Ann, the 
oldest, was born November 1, 1836. When 
she was seven years old, her mother died, and 
was buried in Virginia. 

Mary Ann Brandon married Benjamin Alg- 
ernon Stephens on December 18, 1858, the 
oldest of ten boys, and two girls who died as 
infants, of Iverson Green Stephens and wife, 
Jane Frazier, who were married on August 2 1 , 
1 834. Jane was the daughter of William Fra- 
zier and Elizabeth Lipscomb. 

Ben and Mary Ann lived with his parents 
until August, 1861, when Iverson was sick, 
and Ben and Mary were expecting their sec- 
ond child. Jane suggested Ben and Mary 
move from near Leasburg, to her father's 
home near Milton. Iverson died in August, 
1861. It was said Iverson and Jane were both 
born in August, married in August, and died 
in August. 

Ben worked with his father-in-law, who had 
a cotton gin, tan yard, and small shoe and 
boot factory, until he joined the Civil War 
nine months before it ended. The Civil War 
ended April 9, 1 865. Ben came home that year 
and made a crop. 

On September 10, 1868, Susan Brandon 
died with a fever and was buried on the Bran- 
don farm. On April 18, 1869, David Lawson 
Brandon died, and was buried on his farm 
beside his daughter, Susan. Mary Ann had 
two sisters living. Mary Ann got the home 
house and land around it. 

Alice Flora Stephens married John Richard 
Bradsher on September 6, 1896. John took 
Flora to his home in Olive Hill Township, 
Person County that afternoon. They had five 
children. The oldest, a boy, died at birth, and 
was buried in the Lea Family cemetery on 
their farm. 

On July 9, 1906, Mary Ann Brandon died 
and was buried in the Brandon cemetery. On 
November 5, 1915, Benjamin Algernon Ste- 
phens died and was buried beside his wife in 
the Brandon cemetery on his farm. 

Flora Stephens Bradsher inherited 24.12 
acres of land from her parents, Ben A. Ste- 
phens and wife, Mary Ann Brandon. Flora 
deeded this land to her son, Bennie, because 
he did not go to college and his sisters did. Flo- 


ra died on March 1 8, 1 954, and John died on 
May 2, 1955. Both were buried in the Lea 
family cemetery on their farm. 

Bennie willed his farm to me, Bessie Mary 
Bradsher. Bennie died on December 22, 
1974, and was buried near his parents in the 
Lea family cemetery. The farm was originally 
Brandon land, but it is now the John Lea 
Farm. The farm has been in the family for 
over two hundred years. It was entered in the 
Century Farm Families in 1970, 1975 and 
1 980. Submitted by Bessie Mary Bradsher 


In 1884 Smith Lawson Earp bought 37'/: 
acres of land in Caswell County from William 
A. Forbes and his wife, Virginia V. Forbes. 
This property is situated near the Virginia 
line in the corner of Caswell and Person coun- 

The Earp house which was rebuilt in 1948. 

Smith Lawson Earp also bought a tract of 
land in 1 890 known as the Tenyard Farm con- 
taining 1 12 acres. This tract of land joins the 
37'/2 acres on the west side. 

Real estate tax in 1 884 amounted to $2.00. 
One hundred years later in 1984 tax on the 
same property was $506.37. 

The homeplace was destroyed by fire and 
another home was built in 1 948. 

The family of Smith Lawson Earp and wife, 
Cora Hendricks Earp, has lived on this farm 
continuously for 103 years. There were 11 
children by this marriage and seven lived to 

Tobacco and food crops have been the 
main industries. 

The oldest son had a small tobacco crop 
each year, and paid his way through college. 

The father died in 1 908 and the mother had 
the responsibility of rearing the children 
thereafter. She died in 1942. 

As each child married and left home, his or 
her property was bought by the one left. 
Today the last member remaining is Miss 
Novella Earp, age 83. She was arranged for 
her nephew, James Penn Earp, to inherit the 
farm at her death. Submitted by Novella Earp 


On February 27, 1872, William H. Rice 
and his wife, Sarah, bought 350 acres of land 
from his brother, Stephen A. Rice. Situated in 
southwestern Caswell County near Camp 
Springs, the land was hilly with many acres of 
good farmland and countless acres of prime 
timberland. W.H. Rice paid $205 forthefarm 
and thus began many years of Rice descen- 
dants farming on the land. 


The Rice family in the early 1900s. 

W.H. and Sarah Rice had ten children, 
many of whom died early in their lives. For 
many years the family raised tobacco, milked 
cows, and grew many other crops. They lived 
in a small wood-frame house built in the early 

After W.H. and Sarah died, the farm was 
divided between the remaining children. 
However, in 1903, only George D. Rice and 
Thomas M. Rice continued to farm the land. 
George D. Rice and Cora L. Vinson were mar- 
ried in 1902, and they lived in a handsome 
two-story house built around 1 885. They had 
one child, Stephen N. Rice, born in 1 904. The 
family raised tobacco, milked cows and grew 
various other crops. George Rice also worked 
as a bookkeeper in a tobacco warehouse in 

George D. Rice died in 1919, leaving the 
farm to his wife, Cora, and his brother, Thom- 
as. In 1920, Thomas sold his portion of the 
farm to Cora. By that time, all of the farm pre- 
viously divided after W.H. Rice's death had 
been acquired and all but 50 acres of the origi- 
nal farm was owned by Cora Rice. 

Cora Rice died in 1 952, leaving the farm to 
Stephen N. Rice, the only heir. He married 
Sadie Lee Pegram in 1 929, and at the time of 
Cora's death, they had five daughters: Mar- 
tha, Betty, Kathleen, Grey and Janice. They 
grew tobacco, raised cows and did general 
farming. However, by 1968, all of their chil- 
dren were married and were not involved 
with the farm as they had been earlier. 

Both S.N. and Sadie Rice have been active 
members of the Cherry Grove Community 
and of Camp Springs United Methodist 
Church. In addition, Stephen Rice played an 
active role in the founding of both the South- 
ern Caswell and Cherry Grove Ruritan Clubs. 
As of 1 987, Stephen and Sadie still live on the 
farm which reached its current size of 388 
acres during the 1 940s. They hope their heirs 
will continue to own the land as pridefully as 
they have. Submitted by David C. Vernon 


This farm is located in Caswell County, 
Leasburg Township on Highway 119, 
between Highway 1 58 and Highway 86, about 
eight miles east of Yanceyville, 1 5 miles west 
of Roxboro. 

My father, S.T. Richmond, is 76 years old 
and he has never held a public job. He has 
farmed this land since he was 1 5 years old. He 
raised wheat, corn, tobacco and beef cattle, 
and reared six children on this farm. 

All of the old buildings are gone. S.T. Rich- 
mond tore down the old Richmond home in 
1 952. He built a new home where the old one 

stood. The old trees and old English Box- 
woods are still standing. Also, the old hand 
dug well is still being used today at his home. 
There is still some old furniture in the Rich- 
mond family that has come down from gener- 
ation to generation. 

This farm is approximately 240 acres, and 
the owners and dates are as follows: 

The farm was first owned by John Rich- 
mond and we think John came into owner- 
ship about 1 750; then John Richmond ( 1 726- 
1 787); William Richmond ( 1 740- 1 832); John 
Richmond (1775-?); Henry A. Richmond 
(1815-1 908); James Tribue Richmond (1855- 
1926); Lillie Bell Marcilliotte Richmond 
(1874-1960) (wife of James Tribue Rich- 
mond); and Spencer Tribue Richmond (the 
present owner). 

Spencer got this farm from his mother, Lil- 
lie Bell M. Richmond, in 1934. 

Spencer Tribue Richmond has six children 
(two girls and four boys) and this farm has 
been willed to his children. Henry Leon Rich- 
mond, his son, is operating the farm now, just 
as father had done. 

Submitted by Henry Leon Richmond 


It has not been determined the year Wil- 
liam (Billy) Hasten acquired the farm in the 
southwest corner of Caswell County, some- 
time in the late 1 700s or early 1 800s. Howev- 
er, it is known Lucy Roberts Saunders, Has- 
ten's niece, acquired the farm through family 

Lee Roy Saunders and Lucy Roberts 
Saunders had two children, James Lee and 
Betty. James Lee married Virginia Barker and 
reared two sons, George Lee Saunders and 
John Frank Saunders, and one daughter, Bet- 
ty Saunders. 

Lucy deeded the farm to her only living 
child, James Lee Saunders. James Lee farmed 
the land with the help of his three children 
until he had a stroke and was not able to con- 
tinue his farming operation. 

A short time before his death, he divided 
the farm equally between the three children. 
His youngest son, John Frank, and wife, 
Annie Gwynn Saunders, were deeded the 
home tract. John Frank and Annie had one 
son, Otis F. Saunders, who married Sarah 

The land was deeded to Otis and Sarah 
when John Frank became disabled. Otis and 
Sarah reared three children on the farm, Mark 
Randall (1952-1967), Craig Nelson, and 
Pamela Hope. 

The two-story log cabin built by William 
Hasten, the home of Lee Roy and Lucy, James 
Lee and Virginia is still standing. John Frank 
built a house on the farm in 1929, now occu- 
pied by his wife, Annie. Otis and Sarah built 
a house on the farm in 1954 where they now 

Over the years, the Saunders family grew 
tobacco, small grain and corn. Since Otis and 
Sarah gained control of the farm, some of the 
marginal land has been planted to trees. The 
majority of the land is used for hay land and 
permanent pasture to feed the herd of regis- 
tered Red Poll cattle. 

Submitted by Otis Saunders 

Caswell — Catawba 


This century farm has been passed down 
several generations beginning in 1873 when 
the 1 82 acre farm was owned by John Siddle. 
It was about this time that the two-story farm 
house was constructed and is still used as the 
family residence. The farm was then passed to 
John B. Siddle and later to Sallie A. Siddle. In 
1910, 182 acres less ten were sold to her son, 
John Will Siddle, who died at the age of 38 
leaving a widow and one child, Mary Siddle. 

The side view of William Turner's farmhouse. 

In 1 927, Mary Siddle came into the inheri- 
tance of a 265 acre tract left her by her father. 
Tobacco was the cash crop produced on the 
farm until the early 1 930s when Mary S. Tur- 
ner and Julius began milking a small mixed 
herd and sold Grade C milk. 

Mary and Julius persevered, concentrating 
on the dairy operation and by World War II 
were producing Grade A milk. In 1952, the 
century farm tract was inherited by Mary and 
incorporated into the operation giving more 
cropland to produce feed for the dairy. In 
1962, William M. Turner returned to the 
farm after graduating from N. C. State Uni- 
versity and several years of teaching. The cen- 
tury farm was then purchased from his moth- 
er and the two families continued the dairy 
operation increasing the herd. 

In 1 977, after the death of his parents, Wil- 
liam inherited the 265 acre tract and contin- 
ued the dairy until 1980. An adjoining 105 
acres were purchased in 1 979, making a total 
of 542 acres in operation at the present time 
producing tobacco and forage, grain, pasture 
and hay for the Polled Hereford operation. It 
is the desire of William that this land continue 
to be farmed for centuries to come and be 
known as the "Rolling Green Farms." 

Submitted by William M. Turner 

Catawba County 


Joseph Rankin obtained a land grant by 
the State of North Carolina in 1 794 and built 
a house near a spring above swamp. Solomon 
Baker, the third generation of Bakers in North 
Carolina, bought this 725 acre farm on Jacob 
Fork River in 1839 and built a two-story log 
house. Solomon Baker died in 1863. His 
father, John Baker, died in 1 823. His grandfa- 
ther, Peter Baker, sold his farm in 1 804 and 
moved the rest of the family to Missouri. 
Pinkney Baker inherited one-fifth of the farm 
and the homeplace. Norris Baker inherited 
one-third of Pinkney's farm. Norris Baker left 
the farm to his wife, Jettie Louella Yoder 

Solomon and Anna Hoover Baker homeplace, built 
in 1839. L to R: Pinkney Baker, Mary Elizabeth 
Osborne Baker, Norris Ruffin Baker (on porch), 
Walter Callahan and Claude Bernard Baker. 

Baker, and before she died she sold the farm 
to Louie D. and Alma Hilton Baker, her son 
and daughter-in-law. 

In 1978, Louie D. and Alma Hilton Baker 
deeded the farm to their daughter, Martha 
Louise Baker Frazier, of Winston-Salem and 
with her sudden death January 2, 1 986, it was 
willed to her husband, Kent W. Frazier. With 
Kent's death, it has been willed back in the 
Baker family in 1988. 

The farm has a clay deposit that was used by 
Jugtown potteries to make milk crocks, vine- 
gar jugs, kraut jars, molasses jugs. In the twen- 
ties and thirties the price of a one horse wagon 
load of clay was 25 cents and two horse wagon 
loads 50 cents, with you digging the clay. Mar- 
tha Louise Baker Frazier sold 90 tons of clay 
to the City of Statesville Recreation' Depart- 
ment to host the worlds 1 979 horseshoe tour- 
nament in Lakewood Park. 

The farm contained level river and branch 
bottoms that were rich and productive, and 
also upland fields. When the river overflowed 
its banks the backwaters always deposited 
three or more inches of someone's topsoil up 
the river. 

There are 500 feet of field rock walls near 
the granary and barns built by slaves. Also 
built by slaves was a water system from the 
spring to the stables and house. By moving 
plugs, water would enter livestock troughs, 
then to house by closing plugs. The fresh 
spring water came through ten foot pine poles 
coupled together with cuffs that holes had 
been bored through the pole and buried in the 

The log house had a chimney at each end 
with fireplaces upstairs and downstairs, the 
loom room upstairs. There was also a large 
basement with vegetable bins and fruit racks 
for storing apples, potatoes, pumpkins, and 

In the early 1 900s there were 1 7 large native 
chestnut trees on the southeast slope of grave- 
yard hill where we gathered chestnuts, by 
quarts, gallons and pecks to a half a bushel 
each morning during the harvest season. 
Louie D. and Alma Baker have Louie's grand- 
father and grandmother's wardrobe built out 
of chestnut wood by his brother, Alfred Baker 
as a wedding present in 1878. The chestnut 
blight in the 1930s and 40s killed all of the 
trees. During the last ten years we observed a 
young tree about six inches around and 1 5 or 
1 8 feet tall but now it has died. 

A native spruce from Table Rock in Burke 
County was set on the north side of the house 

before the Civil War. It is now 1 7 feet in cir- 
cumference and 100 feet tall. 

Submitted by Louie D. and Alma Hilton Baker 


In 1840, Alexander Danner purchased 150 
acres on the Catawba Catfish Road in Cataw- 
ba County one and one half miles northeast of 
Catawba. Alexander Danner was born in 
Alexander County 1815, the third son of Sam- 
uel and Nancy Garner Danner. He married 
Rachel Sherrill, Catawba County, 1 839. They 
had 1 1 children: Monroe, Sarah, John, Hosea, 
Martha, Harriet, Henry, Alice, Candice, Ida 
and Lewis. Alexander built a two-story log 
house on the farm 1882-1883, later adding 
two rooms, weather-boarding and ceiling the 
entire house. 

Thomas and Cora Danner. 

After Alexander's death in 1884, his wid- 
ow, three daughters, and a son continued liv- 
ing in the house. In 1 899, the son, Lewis mar- 
ried Annie Hunsucker and built a home on 
the original tract on Littles Ferry Road, once 
the Stagecoach Road from Statesville to Lin- 
colnton. This home was later remodeled and 
is now occupied by a son, Thomas, Sr. Lewis 
and Annie Danner had five children, one 
daughter, Nellie Arndt, and four sons, Carl, 
Fred, Thomas and Everette. Carl, Fred and 
Everette are deceased. 

Thomas W. married Cora Jones from Mt. 
Holly in 1 940. They have three children: Bet- 
ty Flatt, Thomas Jr. and Martha Smyre. Betty 
and Martha are married and live in Charlotte. 
Thomas Jr. is married and now lives in a new 
home situated where the log house was built 
by his great-grandfather. 

After the death of the three unmarried 
daughters, Thomas W. Sr. bought their shares 
of the original 1 50 acres. The acreage owned 
by Lewis F. and John, and was also later 
acquired, resulting in Thomas Sr. owning all 
of the original 1 50 acres. 

I am now 82 and my wife and I expect to 
transfer all of the original tract to our children 
after our deaths. Submitted by T. W. Danner, Sr. 


Our family farm began with Matthew Wil- 
son (born December 18, 1717) in Ireland. 
Matthew married Charity Smith on Novem- 
ber 8, 1740, and they sailed for America in 
June, 1745. After arriving in Pennsylvania, 
they migrated to North Carolina in 1 752. On 
October 3, 1755, Arthur Dobbs issued a Kings 
Grant to Matthew Wilson #239 for 510 acres 
of land in Anson County (which is now 
Catawba County). 


Catawba — Chatham 

Aerial view of the Howard Reinhardt farm. 1930s. 

Matthew and Charity had six children. 
They acquired land until they had 2400 acres. 
One of their sons, Andrew Wilson, fathered a 
large family with one son being named Eze- 
kiel. Ezkiel Wilson married Sarah Selina 
McCorkle (1826-1885), daughter of Frances 
McCorkle, Jr. (1786-1853) and Elizabeth 
Abernathy McCorkle (1793-1877). Ezekiel 
and Sarah's fourth child was Frances Anna 
(1854-1 949). She married Joseph Edgar Rein- 
hardt (1850-1926) on December 16, 1873, a 
descendant of Pioneer Christian Reinhardt, 
Sr. Frances Anna Wilson Reinhardt inherited 
a parcel of land at the death of her parents. 
Joseph and Anna had ten children, one of 
whom was James Edgar Reinhardt (1885- 
1953). He married Maude Anna Hahn on 
October 11, 1911, daughter of Polycarp 
Henkle Hahn and Martha Emma Hewitt. 

As a wedding present, Joseph and Frances 
Anna Reinhardt gave James Edgar and 
Maude Anna Reinhardt 100 acres of land. 
James Edgar and Maude Anna had two sons, 
James Edward, Jr. (1919-1977) and Luke 
(1914-1985). They inherited the 100 acres at 
the death of their parents. James Edward 
Reinhardt, Jr. married Claire Nell Beam on 
December 23, 1933. She is the daughter of 
Peter Calvin Beam (1882-1919), a descen- 
dant of Pioneer Peter Beam and Ida Hettie 
Shuford Beam. James Edward Reinhardt Jr. 
bought his brother's share of the 1 00 acres and 
over a period of time purchased an additional 
100 adjacent acres. Twelve acres were sold in 

1 974, because it was separated from the other 
land by a highway. James Edward and Claire 
Nell had four children. The youngest child, 
Howard Beam Reinhardt (born November 8, 

1947) , married Reba Kay Fox (born July 1 1, 

1 948) , daughter of Woodrow Wilson Fox and 
Toye Kathryn Hall Fox ( 1 922- 1 982), on July 
26, 1 980. Howard and Reba have one daugh- 
ter, Janet Kathryn (born March 4, 1983). 
Howard was given 77.5 acres of this land in 

1 975, and his mother, Claire Nell Beam Rein- 
hardt, sold him 7.5 acres in 1977, and still 
owns 103 acres of land. 

Submitted by Howard Reinhardt 


The farm we own, consisting of approxi- 
mately 350 acres, was originally part of a land 
grant of 2,040 acres received by our great- 
great-great-grandfather, Matthew Wilson, 
from King George II of England. This grant 
was signed by Arthur Dobbs, Provincial Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina, at New Bern on 
October 5, 1755, and is recorded in the office 
of the Secretary of State in Raleigh. 

The house that Matthew and Charity Wilson built in 
1787. Unfortunately it burned in 1967. 

Matthew and his wife, Charity, had immi- 
grated from Ireland in 1745 and arrived in 
Catawba County (then Anson) around 1751, 
settling near the South Fork river in what is 
now Jacobs Fork Township. This area of 
Catawba County is near Startown, southwest 
of Newton, the county seat. Through the 
intervening years since the grant was 
received, portions of the land grant have been 
sold by other descendants of Matthew Wilson 
until our 350 acres are all that remain, having 
never been out of the family. We inherited the 
farm from our father, the late Judge Wilson 
Warlick, and are the sixth generation to own 
the land. It is interesting to note that the farm 
has been located in five different counties 
over the years — first Anson, then Mecklen- 
burg, Tryon, Lincoln and in 1842, Catawba. 

The original house which Matthew and 
Charity Wilson built for their family in 1787 

was located on the acreage we now own — on 
a hill overlooking a clear, clean stream and 
spring. Unfortunately, the house, three sto- 
ries high and built of squared logs, assembled 
with wooden pegs and with a large stone 
chimney, later weather-boarded, burned on 
November 14, 1967. The chimney had a fire- 
place opening in each room, an interesting 
architectural feature for a house built that ear- 
ly. Since then there has been no residence on 
the land. 

This farm is located on a high plateau and 
is quite beautiful. Approximately 247 acres 
are in timber (the farm has been designated as 
a tree farm) and 103 acres are in cultivation. 
Through the years many crops have been 
grown, including cotton, alfalfa, corn, wheat, 
soybeans and hay for cattle. Some land is used 
for pastureland for cattle. It has not been 
farmed by family members since our great- 
grandfather's day, but instead by tenant farm- 
ers and sharecroppers, good stewards of the 
land under family supervision. The farm is 
currently being leased primarily for cattle 
raising and hay production. 

We are very proud to be the owners of such 
a beautiful, historic and productive farm and 
hope to continue to be good stewards of the 
land. Submitted by Martha Warlick Brame and 
Thomas Wilson Warlick 

Chatham County 


Family heritage and owning a century farm 
hold important sentimental values to me and 
my family. The farm is in Chatham County 
and located in Hadley Township off of the 
Silk Hope and W.R. Clark Road. 

Part of the Clark family at the annual family 
reunion — approximately 80 to 90 attend. 

The 1 28 acre farm was deeded to my great- 
grandfather, Thomas J. Clark on September 
23, 1857. The buying of this land began the 
family tradition which has continued to the 
present time. In 1872, Henry Clark, my 
grandfather, got the land from his father, 
Thomas J. Clark. According to the records at 
the Chatham County Courthouse, the 128 
acres were not officially deeded to my grand- 
father until 1 886. My father, Gurney Monroe 
Clark was deeded the land in 1907. My wife 
and I acquired the farm in 1957. 

Grandpa Henry and his neighbors built the 
first house which was made of oak logs with a 
large rock chimney. There have been several 
additions and improvements made through- 


out the years, but the original log room and 
rock chimney are still a part of the house 
today. I was born January 25, 1 9 1 9, in that log 
room and I have never moved away from this 

Originally, the farm was used for growing 
cotton, grain, tobacco, horses, hogs, sheep, 
cows and chickens. There has always been a 
large vegetable garden on the farm. 

Due to the problem with the boll weevil, my 
father decided in 1928 to also begin a dairy 
operation. The dairy and farm operation was 
carried on by the family. After my father's 
death in 1941, I continued the dairy opera- 
tion until 1972. Since that time, the farm has 
been used for beef cattle and hay. 

This farm — this house — a place to live — 
all are full of sentimental value and family 
memories. Submitted by Walter R. Clark 


In 1779, the Elkins came over from 
England and settled in the Gulf and Bear 
Creek Township. William Marley Elkins 
inherited 486 acres from his father. He divid- 
ed the land up in 1 906 between his three sons, 
T.J. Elkins, J.R. Elkins and L.H. Elkins. One 
hundred sixty-six acres went to T.J. Elkins, 
then he bought 40 acres from L.H. Elkins, 
making it 206 acres of land. In 1935, T.J. 
Elkins passed away leaving it the T.J. Elkins 
estate. In later years it was sold. T.J. Elkins' 
son, Tommy, bought 25 acres more or less of 
the Estate, and also owns 77 acres of the J.R. 
Elkins Estate. 

Tommy was born in the house in which he 
is still living and owns. Tommy's father start- 
ed building the house in 1904 and finished it 
in 1908. He had a little store in the hallway of 
the house from which he sold tobacco prod- 
ucts, sugar, flour and general merchandise. 

Submitted by Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Elkins 


Since at least 1847, six generations of Jor- 
dans have been landowners and farmers in 
Chatham County. William Jordan first pur- 
chased land along Blood Run Creek west of 
what is now Siler City. William and his son, 
H. Harris, each purchased, traded, and/or 
inherited tracts of land in the same area of the 
county. H. Harris Jordan inherited two-fifths 
of 350 acres in 1875; part of this tract of land 
has been farmed since then by the Jordan 

The Elkins home, still standing on the property. 

The Henry H. Jordan family. 

During the last four generations, specializa- 
tion began. H. Harris Jordan had several chil- 
dren, but son, Henry H. Jordan purchased 

additional farmland. In 1 900, a large tract of 
land was divided and Henry H.'s share was 
1 60 acres. This land is the Century Farm land. 
In June, 1901, he purchased 9Vi acres along 
Brush Creek, about a mile from the Century 
Farm land. On this land he built a house, a 
cotton gin and Brush Creek Bending Compa- 
ny (furniture company). In 1905 Henry pur- 
chased another 80 acres around Brush Creek. 
In August, 1 907 he deeded 1 Vs acres of land to 
Brush Creek Bending Company. The compa- 
ny became public at this time. Prior to his 
death in October 1911, Henry lost control of 
the business due to ill health and everything 
except the house had burned to the ground. 
During this time the remaining land was used 
by the family for general purpose farming to 
support family members. 

At the time of Henry H. Jordan's death, he 
owned two tracts of land that totaled 240 
acres. His son, Claude Womble Jordan, cared 
for his mother and family while continuing to 
run the farm. In the mid 1920s the Jordans 
entered dairy farming. A neighbor in the com- 
munity got enough people involved in dairy- 
ing for a truck route to Greensboro. In 1942 
the dairy farm became Grade A because of the 
demand for fluid milk. 

In 1952 Norman A. Jordan returned home 
from N. C. State University and began dairy 
farming a mixed herd of dairy cattle with his 
father, Claude Jordan. In 1956, Norman pur- 
chased his first Brown Swiss. Because of the 
docile nature of the dairy breed and a desire to 
be different, he began to develop a herd of reg- 
istered Brown Swiss. By 1964 this goal was 
achieved and he also purchased about 100 
acres of land. Norman A. Jordan, Jr. graduat- 
ed from N. C. State University in 1 978 and in 
1979 became a partner in Brush Creek Swiss 

Plans are to continue in the dairy business. 
The farm now includes 340 acres which is 
actually three separate tracts of land. The 
dairy itself is on the second tract purchased in 
1905 along Brush Creek. The Century Farm 
land along Blood Run Creek continues to be 
farmed to produce forage for the dairy herd. 
Unless something disastrous and unforseen 
occurs, this land will continue to be farmed 
into the next century. 

Submitted by Norman A. Jordan 


Since 1798, seven generations of Kidds 
have owned and farmed lands in Chatham 

Edward William Kidd (January 10, 1843-June 21, 
1918) and his wife, Francis Gilliand Kidd (born May 
1, 1845), in front of their log house, built in 1853. 

Moses Kidd, a Virginia Revolutionary War 
veteran, was the first Kidd to settle in Chat- 
ham County, with the purchase of 1 00 acres of 
land in 1798 for 50 lbs. acquired from his 
father-in-law, John Powers; 100 acres in 1801 
for 50 lbs. from Henry Leonard; 100 acres in 
1 802 from Susannah Powers on the waters of 
Cedar Creek; 83 acres in 1 809 for 75 lbs. from 
Robert Caviness and in 1812, a state land 
grant of 35 acres on the waters of Flat Creek 
from William Hawkins, Esquire, Governor, 
Captain General and Command-in-Chief of 
North Carolina. Other lands were acquired in 
Randolph and Moore Counties. 

Two sons of Moses Kidd, William and Lew- 
is, were given/purchased lands in Chatham 
County in 1 830- 1 840. These lands (less a few 
tracts) were acquired by the son of William, 
Reverend Edward "Ned" Kidd, who married 
Francis Gilliland Kidd, widow of Aaron 
Kidd, son of Lewis. They lived on these lands 
near Bennett in a log cabin; still standing in 
excellent condition, restored by Margaret 
Kidd Maness. 

This land was passed to the next genera- 
tion, Dennis Kidd and others in 1909, until 
the ownership went to the son of Dennis, Rev. 
John Curtis Kidd, with inheritances/ 


purchases made in 1919, 1924, 1930, and 

After John Kidd's death in 1977, the land 
was inherited by his children: Louis (who had 
earlier purchased Kidd land) — 160 acres; 
Margaret — 16 acres; Cornie and Cordia — 
26.5 acres; and Johnsie — 20 acres. 

After passing down through six genera- 
tions, the land now totals 222.5 acres. The 
land is used for cattle, hog, chicken and hay 

I have given 32 acres to my son and grand- 
son with lifetime rights or estate, making 
eight generations. Submitted by Louis C. Kidd 


If Henry Lutterloh II, a German immi- 
grant, had planted the right variety of mulber- 
ry trees around 1 820, history might have been 
different. As a young sailor, he learned how 
the Chinese used silkworms and came to 
America hoping to start a silk business. His 
silkworms died, but this venture gave the area 
in western Hadly Townshp in Chatham 
County the name of Silk Hope. 

Henry and his brother, Charles, bought 
about 1600 acres of land south of Dry Creek 
in what is now Northern Center Township in 
Chatham County. Dr. I.A.H. Lutterloh, son 
of Henry, inherited about 600 acres of this 
original purchase which was divided among 
his descendants. Columbus W. Lutterloh, one 
of his sons, continued farmingon the 223 acre 
tract he received. C. Lutterloh, son of Colum- 
bus, purchased this land at his father's death. 
He added 275 acres of adjoining land in 1915. 
It was used as a cotton and tobacco farm. 
Most of the farming land was cleared by hand 

C.H. Lutterloh started a dairy in 1928. The 
first registered Holstein calves were pur- 
chased from Chinquapin Farms at Reidsville, 
North Carolina in 1 940. When he began work 
with the N. C. Department of Agriculture, his 
wife, Fanny, and their son, Charles W. (Jack), 
managed the dairy. 

Roy J. Williams, husband of Elizabeth Lut- 
terloh, became a partner in 1945. Charles S. 
Lutterloh, son of Jack (C.W.) and Jill Lutter- 
loh, joined the dairy operation in 1968 after 
graduation from the Agricultural Institute at 
North Carolina State University. 

At present, the farmland is used for grain 
and timber farming, beef, cattle and poultry. 

The seventh generation of Lutterloh 
descendants is planning to continue the farm- 
ing operation at Route #2, Pittsboro, North 
Carolina. Submitted by Charles W. Lutterloh 


The historical trace of the Norwood prop- 
erty is as follows: David Norwood to G.W. 
Norwood (Book AR, page 528, February 16, 
1874, 226 acres); G.W. Norwood to B.F. 
Snipes (husband of Tabitha Norwood and 
father of Leonora A.S. Norwood) (Book AZ, 
page 45, May 15, 1879, 192 acres); B.F. 
Snipes to Alpheus R. Norwood (wife Leonora 
A.S. Norwood) (Book BP, page 553, Novem- 
ber 5, 1885, 192 acres); Alpheus R. Norwood 
to Leonora A. Norwood (Book DP, page 382, 
February 1,1899,150 acres); Alpheus R. Nor- 
wood to Grady P. Norwood (Book FW, page 
272, April 28, 1920, 40 acres); Grady P. Nor- 
wood to Lewis Norwood (Book ?, page 171, 


May 27, 1922, 40 acres); Grady P. and Lou 
Pearl Norwood to Lewis and Margaret M. 
Norwood (Book JH, page 158, October 5, 
1944, 150 acres); to Margaret M. Norwood 
(Will dated December 23, 1969, Chatham 
County, NC, File 71-15-1522); Margaret M. 
Norwood to Leonora Norwood Ingle (Book 
403, page 29 1 , April 1 7, 1 977, 54.904 acres); 
Margaret M. Norwood to L. Britton Norwood 
(Book 403, page 29-, April 17, 1977, 70.73 
acres); Margaret M. Norwood to Mary Nor- 
wood Watson (Book 403, page 29-, April 17, 
1977 54.904 acres). Leonora Norwood Ingle, 
L. Britton Norwood and Mary Norwood Wat- 
son are the present owners of the Norwood 
Farm. Submitted by Leonora Norwood Ingle 


My great- great- great- great- grandfather, 
William Norwood, bought 1084 acres of land 
in Chatham County in 1799. He moved at 
that time, or soon thereafter, for the census 
for 1800 shows him, his wife, three sons and 
five daughters in Chatham. It is obvious that 
this helped alleviate an acute shortage of mar- 
riageable young women in the community, 
for by 1805, all five were married, including 
the one who was under 1 6 in the 1 800 census. 

Sarah Snipes Norwood and her first born child, Ella. 

In moving ahead a few decades, we find 
that William Norwood, Jr. had three daugh- 
ters who married sons of Thomas Snipes, and 
a son who married Thomas' daughter. This 
next generation must have given a new mean- 
ing to the term "double first cousins." 

In 1857, Sarah Snipes Norwood, my great- 
grandmother, had her picture taken with her 
first born child. This was a favorite subject 
back then, just as it is now. 

Around the turn of the century Claude T. 
Norwood, my grandfather, used a fancy bug- 
gy as his mode of transportation. He also 
sported a heavy mustache that was common 
for those times. 

Part of the land that William Norwood, Sr. 
bought in 1799 is now the Twin Lakes Golf 
Course. That is to say, still serving communi- 

ty needs, as in 1800. 

Submitted by J. Lamont Norwood 


Crops produced were cotton, corn, wheat, 
oats, red clover and vegetables. The farm has 
also had cows, hogs and chickens. 

A barn and corn crib on the O'Daniel farm. 

The only buildings left are the barn, corn 
crib, and storage building. 

At one time there was a cotton gin mill run 
by waterpower to grind cornmeal. 

Oliver Lamb was the first owner, then Tom 
Lamb, W.J. O'Daniel and Alfred L. O'Daniel. 

A log cabin was built first, then a two-story 
four-room house, the front part which we now 
have. Later, the log cabin was torn down and 
four more rooms were built onto the front 
part. Submitted by Alfred L. O'Daniel 


My mother's grandfather bought 1 1 2 acres 
from Sims Upchurch (1848), Book FY, page 
298, to Ashwell Harward. From Ashwell Har- 
ward to John B. Harward. From John B. Har- 
ward to Floyd Harward Sears and Harmon C. 

From the estate of my mother at auction to 
Gene F. Sears and Josephine B. Sears (1983) 
Book 460, page 72. 

After the War Between the States, this farm 
has been a tobacco and pine tree farm. Money 
from this farm sent ten of thirteen children 
who grew up on this farm to college with two 
going beyond the four year college. 

Submitted by Gene F. Sears 


The settlement and development of the 
Vestal farm land began when James Vestal, a 
distant relation of the present owners, moved 
his family around 1778 to the lands of Brush 

The Vestal homestead. 



Creek and built a small log cabin. As the fami- 
ly grew, he moved further inland and built, in 
1 789, the two-story, four-room log cabin that 
forms the nucleus of today's larger structure. 
During the rest of the 1700s, the time and 
energy of the family was spent in clearing and 
beginning to farm the tract of land which cov- 
ered over 1000 acres. 

In the early 1800s, James' daughter, Eliza- 
beth, married a man named William Cavi- 
ness and raised a family on the farm. In 1 844, 
so that they could move to the western lands, 
they let it be known that they wished to sell the 
house and farm. 

Around this time, Oliver Vestal, the forefa- 
ther of the present day owners, was living in 
Franklinville and was in charge of a nearby 
country store. 

When he heard that the Caviness' wanted 
to sell the farm, he struck a bargain with them 
and agreed to take possession of the house and 
land the following summer with his new 
bride, Elizabeth. 

So in 1 845, Oliver and Elizabeth Pugh Ves- 
tal moved into this house, and thus begins the 
story of the Vestal century farm. During the 
middle 1 800s, and after the Civil War, Oliver 
and his sons added to the original house, and 
further cleared and developed the land they 
now possessed. 

Such things as wheat, corn and hogs were 
grown, but of special note, Oliver Vestal was 
one of the first to introduce the growing of 
tobacco to western Chatham County. Eliza- 
beth Pugh Vestal also made a significant con- 
tribution to the life of her family and to the 
community as a whole. Under her leadership, 
Moon's Chapel Baptist Church was formally 
established in 1849 and was built one mile 
north of the farm. 

After Oliver's death in 1912, the land was 
divided among his six sons and daughters. 
All, except Edward, eventually sold their part 
and moved away. However, Edward Vestal 
kept the original homestead and 250 acres 
and continued on farming with his sons. In 
the late 1930s due to ill health, he delegated 
the management of the farm to two of his 
sons, Grady and St. Clair, who continued the 
ownership of the farm after Edward's death in 
1946. Tobacco growing was discontinued 
during the 1930s, but in addition to an 
increase in acreage of corn, wheat and soy- 
beans, a small dairy was started and broiler 
chickens were grown and sold. 

During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s good land 
conservation was started and maintained by 
Grady Vestal, who, with his wife, Catherine, 
and daughter Elizabeth, lived in the old Ves- 
tal home. He improved the land by building 
terraces, by rotating crops and later, by sod 
planting corn. He was not afraid of using the 
new hybrid seeds, new fertilizers and weed 
controls on the land, and thus was rewarded 
quite often with high yields. 

After 1975, the original acreage has 
decreased to 1 07 acres due to the ill health and 
retirement of Grady Vestal and to the death of 
his brother, St. Clair. Land once farmed by 
the Vestals is now rented to other farmers of 
the area. 

But, the present owners of this land and 
their heirs will try to insure that the century 
farm principle of proper care and use of the 
land will be constantly used, and hopefully, 
the Vestal century farm should be able to exist 

Chatham — Cherokee 

far into the future. 

Submitted by Catherine Vestal 


In the 1800s, the Wilson farm was owned 
by Andrew J. Wilson, who lived on this farm 
and with tenants raised a variety of crops, 
tobacco being the principal crop. 

Andrew J. Wilson had three children and 
after his death, the farm was divided between 
these children, N.J. Wilson, Aaron Wilson 
and Sarah Ann Wilson, who all built homes 
and lived on the farm, with N.J. Wilson living 
at the homeplace. 

After the death of Aaron and Sarah Ann, 
who had no children of their own, the farm 
came back to N.J. Wilson. 

N.J. and Mary L. Wilson had four children: 
Leon J., Cecil C., A. Roscoe and Juanita C, 
and after their deaths, the farm was divided 
between these children. 

Leon J. has since died without children and 
his share of the farm was divided between 
Cecil C. Wilson, Arthur Roscoe Wilson and 
Juanita W. Clagg, as it now stands, except a 
part of the property that the U.S. Corps of 
Engineers purchased for Jordan Lake. 

Submitted by A. R. Wilson 


Crops produced were cotton, tobacco, 
corn, wheat, oats, rye, silage crops, sweet 
potatoes and a garden. 

The Wombles in front of their home. 

The farm buildings were a barn, granary 
and smokehouse. 

The farm has been called Blood Run Farm. 
So named for the stream that runs through the 
farm. The story goes that years ago a bloody 
battle with Indians took place on the creek 
and blood from the Indians and soldiers ran 
into the creek giving the creek the name of 
Blood Run Creek. 

Our grandmother was born in 1 842 in this 
home. The main house was a story and a half. 
In 1 905 an addition of two stories was added 
to the house. 

Submitted by Miss Burdine Womble 


The Womble farm was begun in 1847 as a 
bequeathed gift to Irene Wilson Womble who 
in turn bequeathed the 100 acres of land to 
her daughter, Ada Womble Seagroves. 

Ada and her husband, "Team" Seagroves, 
started life on the farm in a log cabin he built. 
This log cabin later became the tobacco pack 
barn and grading room when a permanent 

house was built. This couple had six children, 
but two of them died in early childhood. 

Of the remaining four children, Obelia Sea- 
groves Womble was given the present home- 
stead portion of the farm in 1938. It's interest- 
ing that the farm was passed along through the 
girls of the family who had supportive work- 
ing husbands by their sides. More land was 
acquired by Obelia's husband, Kadir Wom- 
ble. This farm has been home for them, their 
nine children (seven surviving), 20 grandchil- 
dren, 1 5 (presently) great-grandchildren, and 
assorted husbands and wives. As of Novem- 
ber 5, 1 987, Kadir and Obelia have been mar- 
ried for 65 years. 

The family has raised tobacco, cotton, pea- 
nuts, hogs, sheep, cows, goats, horses, mules 
and other animals over the years besides 
bountiful gardens. 

The farm was mostly self-sufficient, espe- 
cially in the early years, except for sugar. 
Wheat was even ground for flour, cane grown 
to be cooked into syrup and of course the 
annual hog-killing supplied the meat along 
with some beef. Once, Kadir tried to slaughter 
a sheep, but the younger children who were 
home "ran away" to the tenant house and he 
changed his mind! 

A big present day adventure is Christmas at 
grandma's house with 50 or more people in 
and around the house trying to find a place to 
sit to eat. 

This farm has seen its share of the triumphs 
and tragedies which life has to offer, but it is 
hoped it will continue for years to come. 

Submitted by Mrs. Obelia S. Womble 

Cherokee County 


Known throughout Cherokee County, the 
Brittain farm in the Peachtree community 
has been handed down from generation to 
generation for over 100 years. 

W.P. Brittain store and homeplace. 

The original log homeplace was built in the 
early 1800s, supposedly by an Indian Chief, 
and was later known as the George or Wright 

In the late 1 800s, part of the farm was inher- 
ited by Caroline Eleanor George and part was 
purchased by her husband, William P. Brit- 
tain, who built and operated a general store on 
the farm from 1 884 until 1938. This is how it 
came to be called "the Brittain farm." 

Nestled in the heartland of Cherokee Coun- 
ty, the farm consists of approximately 250 
acres, more or less, and spreads across rolling 
hills and fertile pastures. 


Part of the land is still cultivated for crops 
of corn and soybeans. Paul Ledford, a direct 
descendant of William P. Brittain, plans to 
continue to farm the land for future genera- 
tions and to preserve the heritage of his fami- 
ly. Submitted by Paul A. Ledford 


At the death of Verdie Brittain Ledford, 
her daughter, Catherine, inherited the home- 
place and her share of the farm. At Cather- 
ine's death, her son, Jerry T. Sudderth, inher- 
ited her entire estate, being her sole heir. 

Jerry T. Sudderth. 

Jerry lives on the homeplace and he is farm- 
ing the land now just as his grandmother and 
her father and his father before him had done 
for well over 100 years. 

Submitted by Jerry T. Sudderth 


James Stewart of Caldwell County came to 
the newly formed county of Cherokee in the 
year of 1839 and bought tracts of land for 
which he received state grants. He continued 
to buy more land until he had several hundred 

L to R: John H., Edmond (Jack), Elvira (Kate) and 
Hugh Samuel Stewart, sons ana daughters of James 
ana Harriett Stewart. 

Cherokee — Chowan 

James Stewart married Harriett K. Scott of 
Burke County in 1843, and they lived on the 
Stewart farm on the Yadkin River. They 
moved from there to Cherokee County in 
1 846. At this time the county was in a state of 
wilderness. They settled on a tract of land, 
north of the present town of Andrews, in cab- 
ins which had recently been vacated by the 
Indians. In 1 847, James Stewart built a house, 
said to be the first "framed" house in Chero- 
kee County. It was put together with pegs. 

James Stewart did general farming, such as 
corn, wheat, rye and potatoes. He also stocked 
the farm with cattle, sheep, mules, chickens 
and turkeys. 

Stewart tried growing flax, but the climate 
was not suited, so he gave up the idea of grow- 
ing this crop. 

On one part of the farm he established a 
tannery. It was very primitive compared to 
modern plants, but it was the first industry in 
Cherokee County. The tannery closed during 
the Civil War and never opened again. 

James Stewart died in 1863, but his wife 
continued to operate the farm with the help of 
her children. 

At the death of Harriett Stewart in 1895, 
her oldest son, John H. Stewart, bought all the 
farm from the other heirs. He later sold the 
entire farm to his younger brother, Hugh 
Samuel Stewart. 

Hugh Samuel continued growing corn, rye, 
wheat and potatoes. He was very successful 
because he learned to rotate the crops. He also 
started a large orchard of York apples. He 
continued to raise cattle, sheep and horses. A 
huge lot was fenced in for geese. He raised 
them for feathers and food. 

At the death of Hugh Samuel the farm was 
divided among his children. His youngest 
daughter, Annie Stewart McGuire, still lives 
at the old homeplace in a house built in 1 9 1 2. 
Most of her land is now in pasture. 

Submitted by Annie Stewart McGuire 


William Sudderth II, born about 1730, 
moved with his family from Albemarle Coun- 
ty, Virginia some time prior to 1779, to Burke 
(now Caldwell) County, where he purchased 
land from Joseph Stapp of Burke (now Cald- 
well) County on Blair's Creek June 10, 1779, 

thus becoming the founder of the western 
North Carolina Sudderths. 

Many different forms of the spelling of the 
name exist. In Virginia, the most usual are 
Suddarth, Sudduth, Southeard and Sudderth. 
In Cherokee County, the name is spelled Sud- 

Sometime before 1850, Abraham Sud- 
derth, Jr., son of Abraham, Sr. and grandson 
of William Sudderth II, purchased the Mis- 
sion Farm in Cherokee County. He moved 
here with his family around 1854-1855. He 
had a large number of slaves who worked the 
plantation during the following years and 
duration of the Civil War. 

The Mission Farm took its name from an 
Indian Mission School established on the 
land lying along Hiawassee River and taught 
by Evans Jones and Humphrey Posey around 
1820, before the removal of the Cherokee 

After the death of Abraham Sudderth II, in 
1 867, a large portion of the 1 800 acres of land 
purchases by him were sold. The remainder 
was bought by his only son, David Theodore, 
and wife, Delia Corpening Sudderth. This 
was divided among their heirs: five sons and 
four daughters, several of whose descendants 
still live on and cultivate the fertile soil lying 
along Hiawassee River. 

The farm is now being used for growing 
beef cattle. The owners of this farm are: Neil 
Sudderth, Ralph Sudderth, Aud Sudderth, 
Mae Sudderth, Dale Sudderth and Meb Sud- 
derth Hendrix. We are the fourth generation 
of Cherokee County Sudderths. We are heirs 
of Henry Sumpter and wife, Emma Puett Sud- 
derth . Submitted by Meb Sudderth Hendrix 

Chowan County 


One of the early grants along the sound was 
made to George Fordice, January 1 , 1 694. In 
October, 1750, Levi Creecy married Mrs. 
Mary Charlton Haughton, the young widow 
of Richard Haughton, who had died two years 
earlier. With the lady, Creecy acquired her 
interest in Richard Haughton's plantation, 
and he eventually bought the interest of her 
Haughton children after they were old enough 
to convey property. His descendants, in vari- 

The David Theodore Sudderth reunion on the Mission Farm in 1908. He is sitting with his wife, Delia Cor- 
pening Sudderth. The one with the cane and beard is David Theodore. 


Lemuel Creecy named the Fordice's farm "Green- 

ous branches of his family, have owned the 
place ever since. 

At his death in 1772, "Fordice's" was 
inherited by his youngest son, Job Creecy, 
then a small boy. Job was still a minor when 
he died in 1782, and by the terms of his 
father's will, his inheritance was divided 
among his surviving brothers and sisters. One 
of the older brothers, Lemuel, immediately 
bought the interests of William and Nathan 
Creecy and of their cousin, John Skinner, of 
Perquimans County, the husband of their sis- 
ter, Mary, who died shortly before Job. He 
bought the interest of his youngest sister, Eliz- 
abeth, shortly after her marriage to Charles 
Moore of Perquimans. It was Lemuel Creecy 
who named the farm Greenfield. 

Lemuel Creecy willed Greenfield to his son, 
Lemuel Jr. or, if he should die childless, to a 
little grandson, Christopher Gale Creecy, 
child of the younger Lemuel's brother, Joshua 
Skinner Creecy. Apparently Lemuel Sr. did 
not know that Lemuel Jr. and his wife were 
expecting a child and that young Lemuel had 
just made his own will to provide for his wife 
and baby. The two wills were proved at March 
Term, 1816, Lemuel Jr. having died very sud- 
denly before his father; his child seems to 
have died at birth. 

Christopher Gale Creecy died young, 
unmarried, and his brother and sisters inher- 
ited Greenfield. In 1 837 the brother, Richard 
Benbury Creecy, bought out his two sisters, 
who had married and moved away. He moved 
away himself in 1 843 to Elizabeth City, North 
Carolina, where for awhile he farmed and lat- 
er, for 40 years almost, edited the "Elizabeth 
City Economist". He had long since sold 
Greenfield to Edward Wood, another great- 
grandson of Levi Creecy. 

When Edward Wood moved to Greenfield, 
he was a county commissioner. He ran two of 
the largest fisheries on the sound, one of them 
at Greenfield, and was a conspicuously suc- 
cessful farmer with eventually the largest 
acreage in the county. Greenfield was the first 
of four farms that he bought in 1851. By the 
end of 1 858 he had bought an additional five 
farms. In 1863 he bought Athol, and in 1865 
he inherited Mulberry Hill. 

Seven years after Wood's death in 1 872, all 
of his property except Hayes was valued and 
divided equally among the six children who 
did not share in Hayes; Greenfield fell to the 
youngest, Henry Gilliam Wood. In 1891 
Wood sold Greenfield to his elder brother. 

Frank Wood left Greenfield to George C. 
Wood, his only surviving son. 

George C. Wood willed Greenfield to Fan 
Lamb Haughton Wood, his second wife, who 
in turn willed the farm to his son George C. 
Wood, Jr. and their son, Thomas Benbury 
Haughton Wood. 

The present owners of Greenfield are Mr. 
and Mrs. T.B.H. Wood. Elizabeth V. Moore 
aided in the research for this history. 

Submitted by Virginia Wood 


Four generations of the Hollowell descen- 
dants have resided on this farm beginning 
with William Hollowell who made the origi- 
nal purchase in 1847. The land was divided 
between Luke and David Hollowell in 1902, 
later transferred to Ira Hollowell Eure and 
then to her sons, C.H. Eure and L.M. Eure, in 

The Hollowell family has resided on this farm for 
four generations. 

In the beginning years, the farm was a self- 
sufficient unit providing in large part the 
necessities of farm life. There was a cane mill 
to turn farm grown cane into molasses. Corn 
raised on the land was ground into meal at a 
local family owned mill. Poultry provided 
food, feathers for household items and eggs 
for barter. In addition, there were fruit trees, 
grape vines, fig bushes, potatoes, corn, pea- 
nuts, cotton and various livestock. 

This farm which has increased over the 
years, now consists of 222 acres located at 
Selwyn in northeastern North Carolina. The 
land has been in continuous cultivation (by 
family members until 1970) and the main 
crops today are corn, soybeans, cotton and 

The original farmhouse, a two-story frame 
structure, was removed in 1 975, but there is a 
portion of this building still located on the 
farm and Hollowell family members still 
reside on the farm. Submitted by Ira H. Eure 


Prior to 1 776, Hezekiah Jones came to this 
country from Wales. The following year he 
purchased 100 acres of land for 100 pounds. 
The farm is located 1.5 miles east of the Cho- 
wan River, and 10 miles north of Edenton to 
the Rocky Hock Community. 

Jones farmed the land, and practiced the 
craft of cooper. In 1 784, his son Cullen was 
born. There have been six generations of 
Jones' who have owned ancblived on this land. 
The heads of the families have been Hezeki- 

The Herbert B. Jones family, 1 936 — L to R: Gordon 
Huffines, Gordon Huffines, Jr., Helen Jones Huf- 
fines, Otis C. Stone, Sally Jones Stone, Herbert B. 
Jones, Lilly Evans Jones, William P. Jones, and 
Ernestine Jones. 

ah, Cullen, Josiah, William P., Herbert B. and 
the present owner, William P. II. 

They were all born and lived in the house 
that is still standing. It is thought that the 
house was probably built of logs in the begin- 
ning. The east side of the house has small logs, 
which are plastered on the inside and weather 
boarded on the outside. It now has seven 
rooms and a bath, and six fireplaces. Prior to 
1918, the kitchen was located perpendicular 
to the main house. That was torn down at that 
time and an "ell" was added. 

The acreage has varied from generation to 
generation from the original 100 to 300 plus 
which was owned by William P. the first. The 
present owner has 175 acres. 

In the late 1800s the house was the Rocky 
Hock Post Office. There were 24 pigeon holes 
in the front hall. The mail came to Rocky 
Hock Wharf by steamboat. The boat line ran 
from Edenton on the south to Franklin, Vir- 
ginia on the north. Sarah Trotman Jones, the 
wife of the first William P., was the post mis- 
tress. She placed the mail in the boxes and left 
the front door open, and the people in the area 
came by and picked up their mail. 

Submitted by William P. Jones 


According to an excerpt from an old deed 
record, Timothy Ward purchased a tract of 
land "130 acres more or less" for $800 on 
December 12, 1859. This tract, we believe, is 
the farm now known as the "A.J. Ward 
Homeplace on the Gliden Road" — in a small 
rural community located on Highway 37 at 
the north end of Chowan County, bordering 
on Warwick Swamp which separates Chowan 
and Gates Counties. In a will dated December 
12, 1877, Timothy left to his son, Anderson J. 
Ward, "The home tract of land where I now 

The Ward farm sometime after 1973. 


Chowan — Clay — Cleveland 

live" — . This property became A.J.'s and his 
wife, Sarah's, at Timothy's death on June 1 5, 

A.J. enlisted in the Confederate Army on 
March 1, 1862. He was promoted to 3rd Sgt. 
CO. C, 52nd Regiment of the N.C. Infantry 
on December 10, 1862. He was reported as 
missing in action at the Battle of Gettysburg 
on July 3, 1863, and remained a prisoner of 
war until May 4, 1 865. 

A.J. and Sarah raised six sons and a daugh- 
ter born between 1873 and 1890. Anderson 
D. Ward, their youngest son, and his wife, 
Minnie, were left the home farm at A.J.'s 
death on June 15, 1913. They continued to 
farm the land and operate a family owned dry 
goods store in the Gliden community. A.D. 
and Minnie raised two daughters and a son 
born between 1913 and 1920. The farm was 
deeded to Minnie in 1920. A.D., Sr. died on 
August 17, 1940. At Minnie's death on 
November 1, 1962, the farm was left to their 
children. In 1969, A.D., Jr. and his wife, 
Sybil, bought out the shares of his sisters and 
in 1 972 they deeded the house and surround- 
ing lot to their only child, Kaye Ward Bunch, 
and her husband. They remodeled the house 
and moved into it Thanksgiving 1973. A.D., 
Jr. died June 6, 1983. The farmland still 
belongs to Sybil. The land was farmed by the 
family until the early 1970s when it became 
impossible for a "small farmer" to make a liv- 
ing just farming. Corn, soybeans and peanuts 
were the basic crops raised here. The farm 
land is now rented out yearly to another far- 
mer in the area. 

Submitted by Mrs. A.D. Ward, Jr. 


The record is not clear as to when the Webb 
family first became farmers and landowners 
in Chowan County. It is known that John B. 
Webb (born 1816) was active in the central 
county community of Rocky Hock through 
the early and mid- 1 800's. His son, William J. 
Webb (born 1 842), moved to the south county 
community of Yeopim in 1871, and pur- 
chased a 480 acre farm. Known as "Elm 
Grove," the property is situated on Burnt Mill 
and Middleton Creeks; the confluence of 
which mark the headwaters of the Yeopim 

In the late 1 800s and early 1 900s, neighbor- 
hood farmers received fertilizer and related 
farm materials by way of barge traffic on 
Burnt Mill Creek. A warehouse still stands 
today at a landing where these supplies were 
loaded on wagons and the team watered at the 
farm well before completing the journey. 

The dwelling on the farm at the time of its 
purchase was replaced in the late 1 800s by the 
structure which today is home to the fourth 
generation of Webbs. Many outbuildings 
have been lost over the years, including the 
farm's store; the upper story of which served 
as an office where W.J. Webb discharged his 
duties as Justice of the Peace. 

With the exception of tobacco, the crops 
planted today (corn, cotton, peanuts and soy- 
beans) are much the same as in the 1 800s. 

This property should remain a family farm 
for the foreseeable future and it is hoped that 
the tradition will continue. 

Submitted by J. A. Webb, III 

Webb farm, Chowan County. 

Clay County 


This Bristol Century Farm is located in 
Clay County and consists of 300 acres. This 
land was purchased from the state of North 
Carolina by George W. Bristol on March 14, 
1857. (The present owner has the original 
document in his possession.) This land 
remained the property of George W. Bristol 
until October 14, 1877, wherein the land was 
transferred by deed to Thomas Benedict Bris- 
tol, a son of George W. Bristol. The land 
remained the property of Thomas Benedict 
Bristol until September 29, 1 904, wherein the 
property became the property of Samuel 
Johnson Bristol, a son of Thomas Benedict 


L to R: Debra Bristol Puckett, daughter of Richard 
Bristol, Bristol, and granddaughter, LeCosta Juli- 
an n Woody. 

Samuel Bristol farmed the land and was 
very successful at it. He grew grain and hay. 
He had sheep, horses, cattle and hogs. He was 
also an owner of a sawmill. Samuel Bristol 
died in 1948. 

Richard Evans Bristol, youngest child of 
Samuel Bristol, was 17 years old and was a 
senior in high school. After graduation, Rich- 
ard chose to live with his mother and care for 
her and the farm instead of college. He has no 
regrets of his choice even though times were 
not always good for young Richard. However, 
with his hard work, good management and 
determination, he succeeded and is well 
known as a very prominent farmer in Clay 
County. At the time of his mother's death in 

December, 1965, Richard became the owner 
of the "Bristol Farm." 

Richard grows corn, burley tobacco, and 
trellised tomatoes. He and his wife, Joann, 
work as partners and live on the farm. They 
were chosen as the Clay County Farm Family 
of the year in June, 1 98 7. They have a daugh- 
ter, Debbie Puckett, and a granddaughter, 
Juliann Woody. Submitted by Richard E. Bristol 

Cleveland County 


Asbury Carr Harrelson's grandfather, 
Adam Beam (1813-1863) and grandmother, 
Violet Whitworth Beam (1823-1925) bought 
163 acres of land known as the Tate place 
around 1843, two miles north of Waco in 
Cleveland County. 

L to R: Grandmother Violet Whitworth Beam, 
Boyd, Sallie Keziah Salinas Beam, Marie, Asbury, 
Miles Pinkney Harrelson and Alger. 

Their youngest daughter Sallie Keziah Sali- 
nas Beam (1863-1950) married Miles 
Pinkney Harrelson (1866-1963) in 1890. 
They bought the farm and grandmother Vio- 
let made her home with them until her death 
in 1 925 at the age of 1 1 . Grandfather Adam 
had died at age 50 of tuberculosis a couple of 
months before Sallie's birth. 

Miles and Sallie began housekeeping on 
their land in the four room mud daubed log 
house in which she was born. The interior had 
ten inch paneling with slats over the joints. A 
large kitchen approximately 20 x 30 feet stood 
separate from the house. Here meals were pre- 
pared and eaten, looms for weaving material 
for family clothes were kept and quilting and 
sewing were done. This house became a ten- 


ant house when a big house was built about 
500 feet away in 1 906. The big house became 
a rented house after their death and it burned 
in 1969. 

Asbury, being hale and hearty at 94, and his 
son, Dr. Lewis G. Harrelson, who has bought 
a part of the land, live on it now. 

Submitted by Betty H. Helton 

Columbus County 


The Century Farm of John Milton Mills 
Blake and his wife, Eugenia Quinn Blake, is 
part of the land purchased by Mr. Blake's 
ancestor, John Beatty Blake, whose father, 
Francis Blake, came to America from Ireland 
before 1800. 

Francis Blake was a school teacher in Wil- 
mington and came to Chadbourn as an "entry 
taker" writing grants for new lands. Francis 
Blake purchased 1 75 acres south of Whitevil- 
le in 1814, then in 1877 his grandson, John 
Beatty, and his wife, Dorcas Sessions Blake, 
purchased the large tract of land in Chad- 
bourn. They planted the second crop of straw- 
berries to be grown in Chadbourn, the home 
of the North Carolina Strawberry Festival. 
Sons of John Beatty and Dorcas were Rich- 
ard, Robert, Franklin and John Beatty, Jr. 
"Bandy." They were large strawberry produc- 

Joseph Franklin graduated from Davidson 
College Medical School in 1905. Dr. Joseph 
Franklin Blake, M.D. continued to practice 
medicine until his death in 1 949. He was one 
of the last horse and buggy doctors. He mar- 
ried Eva McDonald and their children were 
Joseph F. Blake, Jr., who became a college 
professor, Margaret and John Milton Mills 

At Mrs. Blake's death in 1 954, Milton, who 
had operated the farm for his parents since 
returning from duty with the Navy's 107th 
Seabee Battalion in World War II, purchased 
the farm shares inherited by his brother and 
began raising Hereford beef cattle. Milton 
expanded into the field of farm drainage with 
heavy equipment while continuing the farm- 
ing of tobacco, corn and small grain. Milton 
and Eugenia Quinn had two sons, John Mil- 
ton Blake, Jr. and Frank Quinn Blake. 
Eugenia had been reared on a farm in Duplin 
County and although she completed a Ph.D. 
at UNC Chapel Hill, she agreed with Milton 
they should remain on the farm. Both sons 
graduated from UNC Chapel Hill, and the 
older son returned to the county to teach and 
to live on his part of the farm. He helped to 
tend the Hackney horse breeding operation 
Milton developed out of his interest in driv- 
ing horses. John and his wife, Kathy, have two 
daughters; Frank and his wife, Cathy, have an 
infant son. Milton and Eugenia are still oper- 
ating the farm and with grandchildren now in 
the picture, it seems reasonable to assume 
descendants of Francis Blake will be farming 
here into the next century. 

Submitted by Eugenia Blake 


John Beatty Blake married Dorcas Ses- 
sions March 20, 1870, his first wife having 
died the previous year. 

Cleveland — Columbus 

On March 8, 1877, Dorcas Session Blake 
purchased, reportedly with her inheritance, a 
tract of land northwest of Chadbourn known 
as the Turbeville land. She and her husband 
spent the rest of their lives on this land. 

James Robert Blake, Sr., a son and success- 
ful merchant inherited a part of this land on 
December 11, 1916. Soon afterwards straw- 
berries became the best "cash" crop. J.R. 
"Bob" Blake was one of just a few farmers 
who shipped a refrigerated railroad car each 
day. The strawberry was the "King Crop" of 
the area. Tobacco was soon to come into its 
own. Mr. Blake lived on this farm until his 
death in 1 968 at the age of 94. 

Two-thirds of this farm was acquired by 
purchase and inheritance by Keith and Elaine 
Blake who have their home on the farm and 
reared two children, Lisa and William. The 
land is leased to their son-in-law and daugh- 
ter, Scott and Lisa Hooks, who also live on 
this farm with their children, Erin and Kyle. 
The land now grows tobacco, corn and soy- 

With the love that these descendants dis- 
play for this land, hopefully it will stay in the 
ownership of a descendant of Dorcas Sessions 
Blake, a lady who invested her inheritance 
wisely. Submitted by Keith Blake 


Francis Blake came to America from Ire- 
land in about the year 1800 to be a school 
teacher in Wilmington. He married several 
years later and moved to Columbus County as 
an "entry taker," writing grants to new lands. 
In 1814, he purchased 175 acres in what is 
known as South Whiteville and started farm- 

In 1877, his grandson, John Beatty Blake, 
and his wife, Dorcas Sessions Blake, pur- 
chased a large tract of land in Chadbourn. On 
this land their sons planted the second crop of 
strawberries to be grown in Chadbourn. 
These sons were Richard, Bob, Frank and 
Bandy. A daughter, Maggie, also participated 
in the farming. They were said to be one of the 
largest strawberry producers in Chadbourn. 
During this time, brother Frank went to medi- 
cal school and graduated in 1 905 from David- 
son College Medical School. 

Bandy continued farming strawberries, 
tobacco, and cotton. After his death in 1942, 
his younger son, Billy, at the age of 16, took 
over the farming and care of his mother and 
sister, Thelma; his older son, Jack was fight- 
ing in World War II. After Jack returned, the 
brothers expanded the operation to include 
dairy farming with a small herd of Holsteins. 

As a result of an expanding dairy business, 
crop production included corn, millet and 
other small grains to be used as silage, making 
the dairy nearly 100% self sufficient. 

Dairying continued to be their main farm- 
ing concern until 1987, after 40 years in the 
business, a serious farming accident made it 
necessary for the brothers to dissolve their 
dairy herd. 

We believe this Century Farm land will be 
in useful production for many years to come. 
We will continue to grow tobacco and corn 
and have hopes for our farming descendants. 

Submitted by Thelma Blake 


This land has been in the Gladys McLean 
Cumbee family since December 18, 1794. In 
the Robeson County Courthouse, we found 
this document in Book F, p. 143, dated 
December 18, 1794. John McLean, Sr. of the 
state of North Carolina was granted 200 acres 
of land near Ashpole Swamp, and about three 
miles from Rowland, by Richard Dobbs 
Speight, Governor of North Carolina signed 
in New Bern. 

This home was built in 1882 by Neill Thompson 
McLean of Rowland, North Carolina. 

On February 5, 1 802, John McLean deeded 
to Archibald McLean the same estate of 200 

On July 1 7, 1 845, Archibald McLean deed- 
ed to Washington A. McLean the 200 acre 

Washington A. McLean deeded the same 
200 acres of land to Neill Thompson McLean 
who was my grandfather. 

Neill Thompson McLean deeded my broth- 
er 22 acres of the 200 acre estate. My brother, 
Archie Neil McLean, deeded the 22 acres of 
land to me, Gladys McLean Cumbee, before 
he died in 1973. 

This land has been in the family lacking five 
years for 200 years. 

Submitted by Gladys McLean Cumbee 


In 1 784, 350 acres of meadowland just east 
of Great Green Swamp were granted to Jacob 
Webb by North Carolina Governor Alexan- 
der Martin. In 1833, Abslom Ward bought 
the two tracts for $350. 

Ward cleared about one tenth of the highest 
self-drained land. Five years later he sold the 
whole acreage to Ann Kerr Blue, widow of 
John Blue; and she moved here from Blue- 
field in Bladen County. Mrs. Blue's family 
was a son, Dougald, 25 years old, and three 
younger maiden daughters. 

The family began growing corn, cotton, 
sweet potatoes and many kinds of vegetables 
and herbs. They also grew flax. The ladies 
soaked, carded, spun and wove the flax into 
linen cloth which they dyed many colors using 
indigo, sage, barks and other plants grown at 
home. Because of religious scruples, the fami- 
ly never owned slaves. 

The plantation produced cattle, sheep, 
hogs, chickens, turkeys, guinea-fowl and 
geese. After a few years, apples, apricots, 
peaches, pears, figs, grapes and pomegranates 
were harvested. Black walnuts and chestnuts 



could be had for the gathering. Oak timber 
was abundant, and pine produced, pitch, tar 
and turpentine for money crops. Food was 
plentiful and life was sweet. No hungry man 
or beast was ever turned away from Blue's 
gate unfed. 

In 1849. for the sum of $1.00, Ann Blue 
granted a monopoly to the Wilmington and 
Manchester Railroad Company to cross one 
mile of her property. This coming of the rail- 
road was a boon to the community. 

The one grief was the destruction of the ani- 
mals by bobcats and black bears. It was not 
easy to go to sleep some nights due to the bel- 
lowing of the cows or squealing of a hog as a 
wild beast dragged them to the deep of the 
swamp for the kill! 

In 1865, Dougald Blue married Elizabeth 
Sessions. Two years later he built a hand- 
hewn, heart pine plank dwelling near his 
mother's log home. This house has never 
ceased to be a residence. For the last eleven 
years, since the death of his last daughter, it 
has been occupied by distant relatives of the 
present owner, Dougald's granddaughter, Lil- 
lian Peterson. 

In this house Dougald and Elizabeth's eight 
daughters grew up. Dougald died when the 
oldest of these was 2 1 and the youngest under 
two. However, Elizabeth being a frugal, 
industrious woman, and teaching her daugh- 
ters to be the same, reared and educated them. 
Five were school teachers, one a United States 
Postmaster, and two sweet little spinsters, Ida 
and Rowena, kept the home fires burning for 
their career sisters Lilla, Dora. Martha, Viola, 
Stella and Leta. 

After several years of teaching, Leta mar- 
ried. Her one son and two daughters were 
born and reared in the house her father built. 
Her older daughter established her home, 
which is called Blue Echos, on the same tract 
of land, and there reared three daughters. The 
oldest is now a business woman and home- 
maker; the second a Doctor of Psychology in 
private practice. The youngest one, is a corpo- 
rate secretary and a homemaker, living adja- 
cent to her parents on Blue Estate. She has 
reared one daughter, who makes the sixth 
generation of descendants who have loved, 
lived on, and preserved the land which Ann 
Blue, being a proud Scotch — who spoke flu- 
ent Gaelic, named Royal Blue Heather. 

Submitted by Mrs. J.D. Peterson 


John Laurence Woolard and his wife, 
Mary Day Woolard, are the present owners 
and operators of the Woolard Farm. The farm 
is located one mile south of US 74-76 on the 
Byrdville Cheerful Hope Baptist Church 

A 1927 Dodge sedan in front of the house Jordan 
Woolard built in the late 1840s, photo taken in the 
early 1930s. 

Road, in Columbus County, Ransom Town- 
ship, the village of Byrdville. Cheerful Hope 
Baptist Church was founded in 1839 and 
John and his wife, Mary Day, are members 
and attend regularly. 

John Laurence Woolard was born October 
22, 1912, the 10th of 1 1 children of Jordan 
Marion Woolard (born February 13, 1864) 
and Ida Foster Jenkins Woolard (born Octo- 
ber 21, 1874), who owned the farm prior to 
John Laurence. 

Jordan Marion Woolard was born at Byrd- 
ville on the farm, and was the 7th child of 10 
children of Jordan Woolard (born January 7, 
1819! and Caroline Smith Woolard (born 
November 4, 1829). 

Jordan Woolard, John Laurence Woolard's 
grandfather, was born in Beaufort County 
and was the 4th of 1 6 children of Simon Woo- 
lard (born in 1785) and Winniford Woolard 
(born in 1 795) Beaufort County. 

Jordan Woolard crime to the Byrdville area 
from Beaufort County around 1846, settled 
there and married Caroline Smith. He bought 
some land and she inherited land adjoining it 
from her parents, James Huey Smith and 
Betsy Rowell Smith. He farmed the land, grew 
cotton, tobacco, potatoes, cattle, hogs, and 
worked turpentine, rosin and timber for vari- 
ous commercial uses. 

John Laurence Woolard's parents and 
grandparents are buried in the Woolard cem- 
etery on this farm. 

John Laurence Woolard, Jr. (born June 21, 
1945), who lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, will 
follow in ownership of the Woolard Farm. 

Submitted by John Laurence Woolard 


Beginning with an indenture dated the 
27th day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1 791, 
Nicholas Worley and six subsequent Worley 
generations have owned and operated the 
family farm in the southeastern section of 
Columbus County, adjacent to the South Car- 
olina-North Carolina State line. Nicholas 
Worley originally purchased 100 acres of 
land. Despite the divisions in subsequent gen- 
erations, the farm has a present acreage of 
approximately six hundred through the 
efforts of A.J. Worley. Despite the societal 
changes in the 1960s, the Worley farm has 
continued to grow and the "old homeplace" 
serves as the hub of operations for approxi- 
mately 1000 additional acres of timber and 
cropland, which is currently tended by A.J. 
Worley and three of his sons, Alfred James 
Worley, Jr., Chandler French Worley and 
Robert Worley. Consistent with the agrarian 
changes, the Worley family, together with the 

The Worley homeplace, built circa 1895. 

help of seasonal labor, cultivates the land 
upon which approximately twenty-seven 
families cultivated in the early 1960s. 

It is reported that the house was construct- 
ed in 1 895, for the sum of $ 1 50. The home- 
place is located approximately 5'/2 miles east 
of Fair Bluff on Highway 904. It is also report- 
ed that some of the first flue-cured tobacco 
was grown near the old homeplace. Initially, 
the Worley's "turpentined" the longleaf pine 
of which only a handful of the "turpentined" 
pines remain standing. Through the years, 
tobacco, corn, soybeans, sweet potatoes, 
small grain, swine and cattle have been the 
primary income producing products. Recent- 
ly rice was planted in a catfish pond, which 
has been converted to a crawfish pond. The 
Worley brothers are exploring the possibility 
of expanding the crawfish production. 

Through the years, the Worley's have 
served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, 
Spanish-American War, World War II, and 
the Vietnam War; obviously for the purpose 
of defending the old homeplace. Throughout 
the years, farming has been instilled in the 
Nicholas Worley descendants, thus creating 
the impetus for future generations of family 
farmers who will adjust and prepare for 
tomorrow. Submitted by Dennis T. Worley 


The Flat Bay Farm, now owned by Ottis 
Richard Wright and wife, Olive Battle 
Wright, was included with lands purchased by 
Issac Wright I, when he purchased property in 
that portion of Columbus County, then in 
Bladen and Brunswick Counties, just after 
1800. By a document recorded in the Bladen 
County registry, Issac Wright in 1 806 devised 
a life estate in all of his property to his wife, 
Ann. After Issac Wright died, about 1 808, his 
widow Ann waited until the children had 
reached majority and in 1825, Ann joined 
with the children and their spouses to divide 
the property and Flat Bay Farm was among 
the lands deeded to Stephen Wright (1800- 

After Stephen's death his son, Issac Wright, 
II inherited a portion of Flat Bay Farm and by 
deed dated February 5, 1852, recorded in 
Book K, page 292, Columbus County registry, 
conveyed 1 50 acres to his brother, Richard 
Wright (1826-1876). Richard had already 
purchased an adjacent portion of what was to 
be Flat Bay Farm from McKenney Sims, a rel- 
ative, by deed dated January 23, 1850, 
recorded in Book J, page 644, Columbus 
County registry. 

Many years after the death of Richard 
Wright, a Confederate Veteran, his family 
divided the property and, a son, Mayon 
Wright ( 1 870- 1 947) inherited that portion of 
the lands of Richard Wright which is now 
owned by Ottis Richard Wright. During the 
years after the death of Mayon Wright in 
1947, Ottis Wright purchased the interest of 
several of his brothers and now is the owner of 
a tract of approximately 160 acres known as 
Flat Bay Farm located in the Vinegar Hill 
Community of Columbus County, about four 
miles east of the town of Taber City. 

On other Wright property, and within two 
miles of Flat Bay Farm, lie the remains of his 
father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and 
great-great-grandfather Wright. 

Submitted by Ottis R. and Olive Battle Wright 



More than a century ago, a young school 
teacher named Henry Wyche (1859-1904) 
brought his bride to live in a modest frame 
house on a farm he had recently purchased in 
Bogue Township in Columbus County. The 
farm was never intended as their sole means 
of support, but it provided food for their 
table, wool and cotton for their clothing, sus- 
tenance for their livestock, wood for their 
fireplaces and lumber for their building 
needs. The husband augmented their income 
by teaching or by railroad work, and the wife 
by being the one and only postmistress of the 
community post office. They reared two sons 
who managed to go to college, one to Wake 
Forest and the other to Campbell. 

An official from NCSU came annually to blood test 
the chickens to see that they were free from disease. 
Note that the barns in the background are made from 
hand-hewn timbers. 

Henry Wyche was a leader in agricultural 
organizations, notably the Farmers Alliance. 
He was a contributor to the "Progressive Far- 
mer" magazine and solicited subscribers for 
that publication. His library contained many 
enormous volumes of scientific research pub- 
lished by the United States Commissioner of 
Agriculture from 1 873 on. (The 1 888 edition 
describes formulas for making oleomarga- 
rine! An alternate name for it was "butter- 

So began the farm now known as "Wyche- 
wood." Henry Wyche and his wife divided 
the land between their two sons. The younger 
son, James (1883-1963) followed the pattern 
set by his father as he supplemented this farm 
income as rural mail carrier and postmaster 
and as a country-store merchant. He also 
acquired more acreage. Tobacco was the big 
money crop during his lifetime, but he 
branched out into raising poultry with an 
incubator, five chicken houses and thorough- 
bred chicks. Eggs were sold to a hatchery. Pro- 
duction of honey was another of his projects. 

Now his oldest child, Mary Wyche Mintz, 
supervises the agricultural activities, which 
are quite a contrast to her thirty-eight years of 
teaching. At the present, soybeans and corn 
dominate the landscape. 

Submitted by Mary Wyche Mintz 


Luke I. Yates married Julia Ann Rockwell 
December 12, 1850. One of their children was 
my grandmother, Sarah Lucretia Yates. 
Sarah Lucretia "Lou" Yates lived on the 
Yates homestead (obtained August 24, 1877) 
with her parents until she married Doctor F. 
Williamson on July 1 2, 1 884. Lou and Doctor 
established a home in Bladenboro where my 
father, James Carr Williamson (known as 
Carr) was born on July 25, 1885. Later the 
three of them moved to Georgia. Due to the 
unexpected death of Lou's husband, Doctor, 
in 1890, Lou and Carr returned to the Yates 
family homestead. 

Eva Burns and J. Carr Williamson with Irene Matil- 
da Williamson (left knee), Grace Lou Williamson 
(right knee), Ida Burns Williamson (standing) and 
Hazel Burns (in Ida's arms). 

Carr lived on the farm with his mother, 
Lou, (maternal grandparents), and an aunt, 
Matilda "Tillie" Yates, where they grew corn, 
cotton, sweet potatoes, and grain. After his 
grandfather Yates' death in 1900, Carr con- 
tinued to live on the Yates farm with his fami- 
ly. He gradually gained control of the farming 
operation, eventually adding strawberries 
and tobacco to the existing crops. 

The sunny south colony movement 
between 1889 and the early 1900s caused an 
influx of settlers into Columbus County. Ida 
Viola Burns (born in Springfield, Minnesota) 
later joined her colony family to live in Chad- 
bourn where she met Carr Williamson. After 
seven years of courting, Ida and Carr were 
married on April 23, 1913. They moved into 
the homeplace with his grandparents and 
aunt. (Carr's mother, Lou, remarried and 
moved away in 1912.) 

Ida and Carr had four daughters. The first 
two, Grace and Irene were born in the Yates 
home. In 1918, Carr moved his family, 
including his grandmother and aunt, into a 
new home "across the road." In this new 
home two more daughters, Lois and Clara 
were born. 

Until her death July 9,1918, Julia Rockwell 
Yates, Carr's grandmother, lived with Ida, 
Carr, Grace, Irene and Aunt Tillie. Lou, 
Carr's mother, returned after the death of her 
second husband to live with Carr's family 
until her death August 14, 1931. Carr gradual- 
ly purchased from relatives the entire Yates 
homestead. I became heir to the Yates' home- 
place when he died October 15, 1976. My 
family and I refer to this farm as the YWY 
(Yates, Williamson, Yoder) Blue Pond Farm. 

We celebrated my father's 89th birthday in 
July 1974, at the site of the original Yates 

home. Friends and relatives, many of them 
with memories of the laughter and play were 
there to reminisce. 

I have fond memories of the "old house" 
and its pecan lane, wild flowers, grape arbor, 
figs, black walnuts and hickory nut trees. Red 
and white roses were always present on Moth- 
er's Day. 

Submitted by Lois Burns Williamson Yoder 


In 1773, John Yates received a land grant 
signed by Josiah Martin for 250 acres on the 
south side of Porter Swamp in Bladen Coun- 
ty. From 1779-1796, John Yates and his son 
Luke acquired several thousand acres of land 
by grant and purchase in Bladen County in 
the Porter Swamp-Bacon Branch area. Fol- 
lowing the death of Luke Yates in 1829, his 
lands were divided among his children, one of 
whom was a son, John Yates. Luke and his 
son, John, lived all their lives along Bacon 
Branch in Bladen County. 

John Yates (son of Luke) died in 1 860. On 
the inside front cover of his Methodist 
Hymns is written, John Yates, my book, July 
25, 1825, Bacon Branch. The division of the 
lands of John Yates in 1867 names his son, 
Robert G. Yates as one of the six tenants in 
common of the lands descended to them as 
children and heirs at law of John Yates, 

Robert G. Yates established his residence 
on the acreages inherited from his father and 
his children, Helen Ann and Clara, were born 
there. He was engaged in farming and naval 
stores. After 1900 he made his home in Fair 
Bluff, operated a mercantile business, but 
retained his farming interests. For a time his 
brother Rufus lived on the farm and some of 
the children of Rufus Yates lived and worked 
on the farm for over 60 years. Marketable 
crops grown at various times over the years 
included rice, cotton and corn. After the 
establishment of the strawberry industry, the 
Yates family planted a substantial acreage 
and continued in the production of strawber- 
ries as a major crop until the industry 

Robert G. Yates died in 1932 and his 
daughters, Helen Ann and Clara Yates 
Nance, inherited the farm. Their first cousins 
(the children of Rufus Yates) continued to 
live and work on the farm. In addition to 
strawberries, crops produced included tobac- 
co, sweet potatoes, soybeans and wheat. In 
1 948, after the death of her sister, Clara Yates 
Nance deeded the farm to her first cousins 
Hannah and Caroline Yates (daughters of 
Rufus Yates) retaining a life estate. 

In 1 960, nine acres of the farm were except- 
ed and deeded to a nephew of Hannah and 
Caroline Yates, Robert Allen Yates, Sr. and 
his wife, Catherine Simmons Yates. In 1963 
the farm was deeded to Robert A. Yates, Sr., 
a dentist, and Rufus Glenn Yates, a farmer, 
by their aunts. Dr. and Mrs. Yates and their 
children, Robert Allen, Jr. and Mary Lee built 
their home on the farm in 1961. 

In 1983, Dr. Robert Yates purchased his 
brother Rufus Glenn's portion of the Yates 
farm, and at the death of his Aunt Caroline in 
1986, he and his wife became the owners of 
the farm. 

Robert Allen Yates, Jr. attended North 
Carolina State University and in 1981 


Columbus — Craven 

A Yates family gath 

returned to the Yates farm to make his home 
and is actively engaged in farming. Crops pro- 
duced are corn, soybeans and tobacco. 

Dr. Yates and his family enjoy hobbies that 
can be developed on the farm, with particular 
interest in grapes, bees, vegetable and house 
plant gardening. 

Submitted by Mrs. Robert Yates 
Craven County 


During the 1 700s, a three-story house with 
six large rooms was built on a piece of proper- 
ty called the Bellair Estate, located six miles 
northwest of New Bern. The house was made 
from brick brought from England with a foun- 
dation of shell rock from the banks of Batche- 
lor Creek, which borders the property. Today 
the Bellair Plantation house is on the Nation- 
al Register of Historical places and is listed 
with the North Carolina Division of Archives 
and History. Restoration work is now under 
way to restore the house back to the 1 700 peri- 

The Bellair farm, taken in 1896. 

It wasn't until 1 838 that Bellair was sold to 
John H. Richardson. The Civil War broke out 
shortly after the purchase. Many homes and 
farm buildings were destroyed, but Bellair 
was spared. General A.E. Burnside, Com- 
mander of the Union Army in the New Bern 
Area, issued an order in 1862 to safeguard 
Bellair and its inhabitants. John H. Richard- 
son's wife was Penelope Bogey. 

John Richardson derived his livelihood 
from a turpentine business he operated near 
Tuscarora, North Carolina. This business was 
destroyed by Union Forces during the Civil 

By 1 9 1 8, Graham Tull Richardson, Sr., son 
of John Richardson, had built the place into a 
thriving farm. Acres of strawberries, corn, 
wheat, cotton, hay, herds of Aberdeen Angus 

ering around 1916. 

cows, sheep and goats were part of the total 
farm operation. An added investment was an 
orchard of 300 pecan trees. The farm featured 
one of the very few silos in this part of the 
country. At his death in 1 920, at age 6 1 , Gra- 
ham Tull was one of the most successful farm- 
ers in North Carolina and also known as a pro- 
moter of livestock in the state. Sallie E. Metts 
was the wife of Graham Richardson, Sr. 

Graham Tull Richardson, Jr. (Tull), an 
only child, took up operation of the farm. He 
developed a dairy operation in 1 940 that sur- 
vived into the 1960s. He was an officer and 
director of the local Production Credit Asso- 
ciation for 45 years. The Board of Directors of 
East Carolina Production Credit Association 
appointed Mr. Richardson to the position of 
Director Emeritus on November 10, 1976. 
His interest in farming was always first in his 
heart. He was born at Bellair and lived there 
for 9 1 years. His wife's name was Pearl Daw- 

Graham Tull Richardson, III, fourth gener- 
ation of Richardsons, nowlivesat Bellair with 
his wife, Ethlyn Koon, and son, Karl Graham 

Of the 400 acres of plantation, about 165 
acres are in cultivation. Currently the farm 
has timber, tobacco, corn and soybean pro- 
duction as part of its operation. Plans to con- 
tinue to farm the land are still very much a 
part of this generation. 

Submitted by Ethlyn K. Richardson 


Family lore indicates that Fulchers farmed 
in the general area earlier than 1 855. Howev- 
er, records show that at least a portion of the 
farm was purchased in January, 1 855 by Wil- 
liam A. Fulcher. His major crop was tobacco. 
Corn was grown to feed the stock. 

The four children of William Fulcher inher- 
ited the farm in 1 897, and the land was divid- 
ed. Bryan, a son, purchased acreage from his 
brothers and sister. Over the years, he pur- 
chased additional acreage. His crops included 
tobacco, corn, sweet potatoes and broccoli. 
He deeded portions of his farm to his older 
children so that each would have his own 
farm. In 1935, Bryan Fulcher divided the 
remaining land among his younger children. 

Only one son, John, chose to continue 
farming. He, as his father did, purchased acre- 
age from his brothers. The main crop was still 
tobacco. Soybeans were substituted for sweet 
potatoes, and corn became a cash crop. He 
retired several years ago. His wife, Peggy, and 
their children, Sandra, Frank and Gary, con- 
tinue to farm the land and plan to do so for 
many years. John Fulcher died on December 
19, 1987, but his love for the land lives on 
through his children and grandchildren. 

Submitted by Peggy B. Fulcher 


Brice Ipock (b. 7 April 1 836, d. 14 Septem- 
ber, 1915) was the son of Samuel and Eliza- 
beth Ipock. He was the third child of eight. 

John and Peggy with their children and grandchil- 
dren — L to R: daughter Sandra, granddaughter 
Chrystal, son-in-law Bobby Whitford, Peggy, son 
Frank, grandson Brent, John, and son Gary. 

L to R, seated: Gomira Bell Wilson, Brice Ipock. 
(standing) Lydia Ipock Wilson. Maria Davis Ipock 
and Stella Ipock. Taken in March, 1913. 

The family story goes that after his sisters 
married and his parents were deceased, Brice 
and his brothers acquired a homesite at 
Washington Fork, at the intersection of Hwys 
55 and old 70, west of New Bern. They lived 
together there until brother Samuel Jr. mar- 
ried, at which time all but Samuel and wife 
moved to the Beech Grove area. 

In 1 875 Brice moved to the Asbury section 
of the county with two of his younger single 
brothers. During these years, Brice himself 
had married two times, both wives having 
died young. Soon after purchasing the Asbury 
site he met his third wife of the same commu- 
nity. He married Maria Perkins Davis (b. 16 
October 1856, d. 15 March 1943) on March 
27, 1878. 

On deeds dated, February 22, 1887 and 
December 23, 1897, portions of the Asbury 
plantation were deeded to brother, William 
(Bill), and brother, George, as they also were 
now married and had established homes on 
these sites. One lived on either side, with 
brother Brice's acreage in the middle. 

Brice and Maria had ten children: Claude 
Franklin Ipock married Rosa Davis; Wade 
Ipock; James Alphious (Alf) Ipock married 
Annie Oneta Simmons; Lydia Lamiller Ipock 
married Olumphus (Lymp) Wilson; Hervey 


Craven — Cumberland 

Crowson Ipock married 1st Beulah Davis, 
2nd Myrtle Davis Perry, 3rd Mary Bell; Susan 
Penelope Ipock; Brice Benjamin (Benny) 
Ipock; Leinster Duffy Ipock, Nat Street Ipock 
and Brice Bryant Ipock married Jessie Pearl 

When (Jim) James Alphious Ipock, Jr., one 
of Brice and Maria's grandsons, married Jose- 
lyn May Paul on February 14, 1942, the 
Asbury lands passed again. Joselyn met Maria 
soon after she and Jim were married. Joselyn 
and Maria shared a mutual birthday (Oct. 1 6). 
On Maria's last birthday, she was 86 years 
old. Maria passed away on March 1 5, 1 943. 

Submitted by James A. Ipock, Jr. 


Jeremiah Heath was a Free Will Baptist 
minister and a surveyor who sold 1 00 acres of 
land to my great-grandfather, William S. 
McCoy, in 1846. Jeremiah's son, William 
Heath, also sold 50 acres to William S. McCoy 
in 1855. This land became my grandfather, 
Timothy McCoy's, after the Civil War. Timo- 
thy McCoy deeded the land to his sons, one of 
whom was my father, Scott Winfield McCoy. 
After several years, Scott bought his brother's 
shares and eventually two of his own sons, 
Paul and myself, S. Woodrow, assumed own- 
ership of this land. 

The Scott W. McCoy old homeplace. Scott seen here 
with his wife and children. 

An early explorer of North Carolina said, 
"Do not settle south of the Neuse River. You 
will perish — poor, pine barren land." Years 
later it was found that "reeds" grew abun- 
dantly in this very area and cattle were able to 
graze until January. This was true, especially 
in the pocosin or "swamp on a hill." 

Our ancestors, with their herds, moved 
south into this region. They found good 
organic soil and sand clay in many areas. The 
pine trees became valuable while producing 
lumber, tar, pitch and turpentine. 

My wife, Edith Henderson McCoy, and I 
along with our children, have a herd of 1 10 
Holsteins. We milk them twice daily on the 
farm which my father deeded by his father in 
1 894. Our family always had free range cattle 
until the early 1920s. After the stock law was 
passed, my father began developing perma- 
nent pastures. We have continued to use pas- 
ture for grazing our dairy herd. 

Since the early 1940s, we have purchased 
over 1000 acres with much pasture for a beef 
herd. There are 300 acres planted in beautiful 
pines as part of America's Tree Farm Family 

Our three children live and work on the 
farm along with our six grandchildren. They 

are the sixth generation to live on this land. 

Submitted by S. Woodrow McCoy 


Since 1764, six generations of Wests have 
been landowners and farmers along Moseley 
Creek in Craven County. John West bought 
107 acres of land from Moses Tillman of Dob- 
bs County (now Lenoir County). He contin- 
ued purchasing land through the years until 
he owned 572 acres. His will was probated in 
1 800. He left all the land to one son, Levi Ter- 
rence West (1751-1830), and 150 pounds to 
his other six children. 

The Marion Parnell West, Sr. family. 

In 1830, Levi West died, leaving the 572 
acres to one son, Kinion Terrence West 
( 1 797- 1 865). Through the years, Kinion West 
bought land in the surrounding area until he 
owned 1 ,472 acres. In his will of 1 865, he left 
all the land to one son, William Henry West 
and $500 each to his other 14 children. He 
was married three times. 

In 1875, James Lewis West (1850-1898) 
bought three-fourths of an acre of land from 
his half brother, William Henry West and 
built the original West homeplace. Through- 
out the years, he bought the rest of the 572 
acres from William Henry West. 

Zeb Vance West ( 1 876- 1939), oldest son of 
James Lewis West, inherited 80 acres from 
his father in 1 900. He purchased 278 acres of 
land from his two brothers and one sister. He 
did not buy the other 2 1 4 acres from his other 
three sisters. Prior to his death, he had pur- 
chased 300 acres of land. 

Zeb Vance West was the father of 1 1 chil- 
dren. His wife was Bessie Ann Kilpatrick. At 
his death, the nine living children inherited 
his estate. His youngest son, Marion Parnell 
West, Sr. inherited the West homeplace and 
90 acres of land in 1 94 1 . The rest of the origi- 
nal West land is owned by his two brothers, 
James Harpel West and Zeb Tull West. 

The West farm will be left to my daughter, 
Glenda West Fulmer and two sons, Marion 
Parnell West, Jr. and Randall Lynn West. I 
am hoping that this land will continue to be 
farmed by them and my six grandchildren 
into the next century. 

Submitted by Mar- m Pai tell West, Sr. 

Cumberland County 


James Bullock and Lydia Roundtree were 
married in Ireland in 1761 and immediately 
immigrated to this country. Their 160 acre 
homestead was located on South River at the 
mouth of Sandy Creek in Cumberland Coun- 
ty. The plat of the original acreage, dated 
November 1 7, 1 759, and the grant for it from 
King George, II of England, dated April 21, 
1761, are in the hands of the present owner, 
Evelyn Bullock Bullard. She inherited this 
multi-century farm from her father, Buckner 
G. Bullock in 1973. 

Since 1761, there have been five genera- 
tions of owners. The farm passed from James 
and Lydia Roundtree Bullock to their son, 
Thomas Bullock and wife, Rachael Sessoms; 
then to their son, Thomas Bullock and wife, 
Sarah Fisher; then to their son, Buckner G. 
Bullock and wife, Maggie Downing. Buck- 
ner's children were all daughters — thus the 
farm passed from the Bullock name to a 
daughter, Evelyn Bullock Bullard. 

In the earlier years, the land was used chief- 
ly for turpentine, tar and logging. These were 
rafted and floated down South River to the 
Cape Fear River and on to Wilmington to 
market, a distance of about 80 miles. Barrels 
for the turpentine and tar were made in the 
barrel shop on the farm by the first Thomas 
Bullock, who was known as the "barrel mak- 

These barrels and logs were rafted at Bul- 
lock's landing on South River and floated to 
Wilmington when water in the river was high. 
This high water was generally spoken of as a 
"Spring Freshet" and a "Fall Freshet," as they 
had without fail, rain enough each spring and 
each fall to float their rafts. The men ate and 
slept on their rafts when going downstream. 
They came back by boat up the Cape Fear 
River to Cedar Creek, then walked home the 
remaining seven miles. 

As years passed, the land was taken over by 
farming. Tobacco, corn, soybeans and wheat 
are now being grown. Yams, cotton, strawber- 
ries, dewberries, hogs and cows as were grown 
by previous generations have been discontin- 

Family hopes and dreams are that this 
farm, along with what has been added to it, 
may remain active indefinitely, passing from 
generation to generation, you might say, as a 
sort of family heirloom. 

Submitted by Evelyn Bullock Bullard 


The Troy A. Fisher, Sr. farm was first 
acquired in 1840 by his great-grandfather, 
Raiford Fisher. It was then passed on to his 
son, Haywood Fisher in 1873. Haywood 
enlisted in the Confederate States Army on 
August 6, 1 86 1 . He was wounded at Chancel- 
lorsville, Virginia, and promoted to sergeant. 
He was later captured by the Union Army at 
Stephenson's Depot, Virginia, in July, 1864 
and released in June, 1865 at Camp Chase, 

In 1901 the farm was passed to William 
Ancil Fisher, his oldest son. In 1919 it was 
bought by his brother, Walter Lalaster Fisher 
who was the father of Troy A. Fisher, Sr. Troy 
acquired the land in 1942, and actively 


The Fisher farm. 

farmed until 1975. He represented Cumber- 
land County in the N.C. House of Represen- 
tatives in the General Assemblies of 1949, 
1951 and 1953. Troy died in July of 1985. He 
is survived by his wife, Bertha, and six chil- 
dren. Bertha, Nancy and John Ewing, Mary 
Troy, Jr., William and his wife Pamela and 
their two children, Paige and Matthew, reside 
on the farm. Helen and Sue Fisher reside in 

William and Troy, Jr. have been the owners 
and operators of the farm since 1985. Tobac- 
co, corn, peanuts and soybeans are the main 

Raiford Fisher and his wife, Janet, and 
their youngest son, William, along with Hay- 
wood Fisher and his wife, Narcissus, are bur- 
ied in the family cemetery located on the 

The farm is located in southeastern Cum- 
berland County, 1 6 miles east of Fayetteville. 

In summary, our family survived the Civil 
War, the Great Depression, recent recessions 
and the devastating tornadoes of 1984. We 
hope to be here another 1 50 years. 

Submitted by William L. and Troy A. Fisher, Jr. 


The McDonald land is located in Rockfish 
Township. The deed dates back to May 27, 
1772. James A. and Edward H. McDonald 
(brothers) purchased 182 acres from Donald 
and Jeanette McArthur for $750. Then on 
June 30, 1874, James A. purchased from 
brother, Edward H., his half of the parcel of 
land for $375. 

The old log home, taken in 1949. It was built in 1897. 
Paul G. Autry, Sr. and his son, Geddie. 


After the death of James A., two sons, 
George C. and Richard C. McDonald, pur- 
chased the 182 acres from heirs, James E. 
McDonald, Fannie A. Ray, Katie E. Ray and 
the estate of the late Alice McDonald for the 
sum of $400. 

On April 7, 1910, A.J. Johnson and B.W. 
Townsend deeded 7.7 acres to George C. and 
Richard C. McDonald for $77. 

On December 8, 1 923, George C. and Rich- 
ard C. purchased 66.32 acres from W.H. and 
Bettie H. Williams and W.O. and Minnie P. 
Singletary, known as the "Dr. Gilbert land" 
for the sum of $1,000. 

On December 6, 1 928, George C. and Rich- 
ard C. McDonald divided their acres into two 
parts. Richard C. was deeded 1 06 acres, more 
or less which included the McDonald home 
(built around 1 897), also six barns, one tenant 
farmhouse, and the original log cabin and 
kitchen, where George C. and Richard C. 
McDonald were born. 

Richard C. McDonald married Nancy 
Agusta (known as Gussie) Davis on February 
7, 1915. To them were born identical twin 
sons, George Kenneth and James C, John 
Beamon, A. Olive and G. Berline. Only the 
two daughters survived. G. Berline McDon- 
ald Harrel is the mother of three sons and one 
daughter. A. Olive McDonald Autry is the 
mother of two sons. 

Upon the death of "Gussie" McDonald, 
October 9, 1951, Richard C. divided his 
estate, 56 acres, to Berline McDonald Harrel 
and 5 1 acres and the home to Olive McDon- 
ald and husband, Paul G. Autry, Sr., with his 
lifetime rights and agreement to care for him 
until death. Olive McDonald lived with hus- 
band Paul G. Autry, Sr. and sons, P. Geddie 
Autry, Jr. and Steven M. Autry, and with 
Richard C. McDonald in his old home, which 
the family renovated in 1952. Richard C. 
McDonald died August 3, 1960. Paul G. 
Autry, Sr., died August 20, 1965. 

On October 8, 1966, Olive McDonald 
Autry married Robert H. Glock. Robert H. 
Glock had one son, Robert M. and one daugh- 
ter, M. Lucinda Glock. 

The old McDonald home burned in May, 
1968. Robert and Olive Glock built a new 
brick house in 1972 on the same location as 
the old home. 

The old log house was surrounded by barns 
after the second home was built. It had two 
large rooms and a lean-to across the back with 
two small rooms. The larger room had a big 
fireplace. The kitchen was about 150 feet 
away from the house. There was a water well 
about halfway between the buildings. The 
kitchen also had a huge fireplace used for 
cooking as well as heating. 

Brick from the chimneys and foundation of 
the old 1 897 farm home were used in the new 
1 972 brick home for a huge brick fireplace in 
the family room and also as a wall between the 
kitchen and family room. The old "heart of 
pine" timbers in one of the old hay and stor- 
age barns were used to build the family room 
and kitchen. Old hand hewn beams from the 
barn were used as "open beams" over head in 
the kitchen and family room. The house is fur- 
nished with old and antique furnishings 
handed down from the two old homes. 

Before these buildings were destroyed, in 
them were several old spinning wheels, a 
weaving loom that my grandmother wove 

cloth to make the family clothes. They also 
had one of the first cotton gins, hay baler, 
bean pickers, corn planters, stalk cutters, corn 
shellers, mowing machines, hay rakes, one 
and two horse wagons, one and two horse rid- 
ing buggies, an apple press used for making 
cider, also a grape press for wine. There were 
all types of plows and other articles used on 
the farm and drawn by mules or horses. 

They also bought the 55 acres from her sis- 
ter, Berline McDonald Harrel. Later they 
deeded one acre each to sons, P. Geddie and 
Steven M. Autry. Each have built nice homes 
on their lots and will inherit the remainder of 
the 51 acres. The 55 acres and the house will 
be divided equally between P. Geddie Autry, 
Jr., Steven M. Autry, Robert M. Glock and M. 
Lucinda Glock upon the deaths of Robert H. 
and Olive McDonald Glock. 

Submitted by Olive McDonald Glock 


Sterling J. Farm has been a part of our fam- 
ily since 1870. Over the years we have pro- 
duced several crops, rice being the unusual 
one. We also produced corn, cotton, tobacco, 
peanuts, sugar cane, wheat, oats, rye and bar- 

The farm had a three-room log house that 
my grandfather, Daniel, a confederate sol- 
dier, built. All eight of his children were born 
in the house including my father, B.J. 
Ammons. The other seven children were 
Mirian, Lula, Fannie Willie, Duncan, Sari 
Willie and Jim. 

Around 1910, my father built another 
house in which all his children were born. 
Their names were Alice, James, Elmore, 
Ruby, J.B., Aliene, Lois, Ozelle, Dizzi and 
myself. In 1975, I built a new home for my 

This farm has been continuously operated 
by the Ammons family. It is my dream that 
my son will continue to operate the farm. 

The original farm land consisted of 37-1/2 
acres in 1870. My father purchased an addi- 
tional 1 7 acres. At the present time with land 
that I have added there are 500 acres. The 
farm is primarily a cattle operation and for a 
family cemetery. Submitted by Gene S. Ammons 


This farm belonged to the Underwood 
family well over 100 years ago. It was at one 
time known as the Sykes land, then later as the 
Cole Camp land. The Underwoods married 
into the Cole family and then inherited this 
property and have owned it until this date. 
The land is in two tracts, part in Beaver Dam 
Township and part in Cedar Creek Township. 
This farm lies between Cedar Creek and Tar- 
heel Road, known as Tabor Church Road and 
Cape Fear River, joining Cape Fear River in 
southeast Cumberland County. 

The farm received supplies by riverboat 
from Wilmington and Fayetteville, such as 
fertilizer, staple groceries and dry goods. In 
the early years there were tenant farmers with 
dwellings on this farm tending tobacco, cot- 
ton, corn, beans and hog and beef cattle. Also 
at one time there was a general store, cotton 
gin and grist mill on this farm. All these origi- 
nal buildings, barns, store and storehouses 
and homes were completely demolished in 
the tornado of March 1984. 

Cumberland — Currituck — Davidson 

Walter L. Underwood has built back and 
still lives here. Walter has a brother, James 
Leroy Underwood, half owner of the River 
tract of this farm, consisting of 1 39 acres join- 
ing Cape Fear River in southeast Cumberland 
County in Cedar Creek Township. 

Walter's home is on the Beaver Dam Town- 
ship tract of this property. His brother's part 
of this tract was sold by him, and they have a 
large hog operation on his part of this tract 
consisting of two farrowing houses, two nur- 
series, one gestation house, two topping hous- 
es, with 365 brood sows and 24 boars. 

Submitted by Walter L. Underwood 

Currituck County 


William Brabble in his last will and testa- 
ment dated November 28, 1778, gave his 
daughter, Chloe the plantation whereon he 
lived located in Currituck County on Buck- 
skin Road between Sligo and Currituck 
Courthouse. Chloe married Burrough 
Mathias in 1791 and lived on this plantation 
where they had six children. In her last will 
recorded February 18, 1823, she divided the 
plantation among her sons, John, Simon, Wil- 
liam and Hillary. 

John Mathias acquired some of the shares 
of the plantation from his brothers. John mar- 
ried Polly Bell and they had three children: 
Caleb Bell Mathias, Burwell and Adelia. Bur- 
well died prior to his father's death and Caleb 
received the plantation in his father's last will 
dated January 20, 1872. 

Caleb Mathias married Margaret Williams 
February 20, 1863, and they had two chil- 
dren, Laura "Lillie" Bel Mathias and Caleb 
Bell Mathias, Jr. Caleb Jr., "Bloss" as he was 
commonly known, never married. Lillie 
Mathias married Manly West in 1890 and 
they had ten children. Of these ten children, 
Maggie became a school teacher, Basil 
became a Baltimore City policeman, Paul 
became a lawyer in Raleigh later serving as a 
City Judge, Luther was a mechanic for Curri- 
tuck County schools, Saul was an engineer on 
a passenger boat between Baltimore and Nor- 
folk and Manly continued the farming tradi- 
tion. Manly married Marjorie Morris in 1939 
and they had one son, Manly Morris West, 
who after his father's death in June, 1969, 
continues to farm part of the original planta- 
tion along with the lands that have been add- 
ed to the farming operation through the years. 

Submitted by Manly M. West 

Davidson County 


This farm is located in southern Davidson 
County, Healings Springs Township, on the 
Yadkin River one mile below High Rock 
dam. It is in what was known in 1729 as the 
Granville District, and is a part of over 1000 
acres acquired by land grants from 1779 to 
1784 to the great-great-grandfather of Albert 
Milton Cole. The farm now contains 236 
acres, the balance having been divided among 
the heirs over the past 200 years. 

The grants issued rights to the middle of the 
Yadkin River. In the early 1 960s the Tucker 
Town dam was built and backwater covered 

The present residence was built in 1890 by James 
Milton Cole. 

or damaged 20 acres of the farm bordering on 
the river. 

The Winston-Salem Southbound Railroad 
crosses the farm between the residence and 
ihe river. Also, the HPT and D railroads cross 
the north corner. The Lick Creek Road 
divides the land from north to south. 

At the present time, about one half of the 
farm is open cultivated land or pasture. Hard- 
wood and set pines cover the balance. 

Albert Milton Cole (1895-1967) inherited 
the farm from his father, James Milton Cole 
(1859-1 934), who inherited it from his father, 
Thomas Cole (1815-1905). 

The farm was operated by Albert Milton 
Cole from 1 920 until 1 967. Grain, cotton and 
an allotment of tobacco were the principle 
crops under cultivation during these years. In 
1931 he was awarded the certificate of 
"Grade A Farmer" under the North Carolina 
Live at Home Farming Program. In 1952 
Governor W. Kerr Scott conferred upon Mil- 
ton Cole the honorary proclamation of 
"Country Squire." 

The first residence, built by Thomas Cole, 
was situated on a hill overlooking the river 
and was abandoned around 1 890 when James 
Milton Cole built a seven room, two-story 
country home surrounded by century oaks. 

Today, Albert Milton Cole's widow, Freda 
Morgan Cole lives in the country home and 
the farm is registered in her name. She has 
operated the farm as a beef cattle farm along 
with vegetables and fruit since 1967 with the 
help and cooperation of her son, Albert 
Brooks Cole of Lexington. She has two daugh- 
ters, Miss Ruth Elizabeth Cole of Charlotte 
and High Rock and Virginia Cole Johnson 
who lives nearby. 

Submitted by Mrs. A.M. Cole 


On November 7, 1842, Jonathan Fishel 
bought 60 acres in the edge of Davidson 
County in the Friedberg community. He built 
a log house and barn and married Louisa 
Spach in 1849. He raised some tobacco but 
mostly food crops. They had five children and 
daughter Lucinda married Charlie Foltz in 
1886 and continued farming and caring for 
her elderly father. This union resulted in three 

By 1 903, they had added another log room 
and four rooms of brick to the front of the 
house. Charlie died in 1904 and Alva, 16 
years old, continued to farm and improve the 
land. He married Bertha Crouch in 1913 and 
to that union seven children were born. 

In the 1930s, Alva developed a dairy farm 
and lots of truck crops and discontinued 
tobacco. In the 1950s Alva divided his land 
between the five living children and Evva the 
youngest who married Travis Hanes, built a 
house on 1 1 acres of her land. She bought one 
sister's share in 1 968 and the homeplace from 
a brother in 1980 and three other acreage 
tracts adjoining. 

Evva and Travis, not caring to farm, plant- 
ed their 70 acres in Loblolly Pines in the 
1970s and early 1980s. They dismantled the 
entire house and put it back up, the log part as 
originally built and the brick park enlarged 
for closets and bathrooms. The home will be 
passed on to their youngest daughter, Caro- 

It was in this log kitchen, Ewa learned to 
make and bake Moravian cookies on a wood 
stove as a child. Their business is next to the 
homeplace "Moravian Sugar Crisp Co., Inc." 
Their cookies are ordered and shipped to all 
50 states and many foreign countries and are 
known nationally. 

Submitted by Mrs. Travis F. Hanes 


The ancestry of this farm family in south- 
ern Davidson County can be traced to Gideon 
Harrison. He settled south of Denton on a 
tract of over 1 000 acres in 1818, after having 
moved from Halifax County. Much of this 
land, located between Jackson Hill and 
Handy, is still owned by the many descen- 
dants of Gideon Harrison. Before moving to 
Kentucky, where he later died, he gave his 
land and slaves to his children who stayed 

The third son of Gideon, Henry Harrison, 
raised 12 children on his 250 acres given to 
him by his father. His youngest son, William 
Hosea, born June 1, 1852, died March 3, 
1 946, married Frinless Loflin and reared four 
children on part of this same land. 

William Hosea's only son, Benjamin, was 
Ronnie Harrison's grandfather. He farmed 
the land and raised hogs, as well as, worked at 
a sawmill. He and his wife, Lena Loflin Harri- 
son, raised five children. His youngest son, 
Ronnie's father, has farmed this land all of his 
life. Herlie married Frances Smith and raised 
four children. Although he worked as a car- 
penter, upholsterer, and sawmill worker, his 
love is the farm. Herlie and Ronnie farm 300 
acres, have a 40 sow farrow to finish hog oper- 
ation and a small beef cow herd. 

Ronnie Harrison married Virginia John- 
son, and they have three daughters. Ronnie is 
the sixth generation to farm this land over the 
past 1 70 years, and he hopes it will stay in the 
Harrison family for generations to come. 

Submitted by Ronnie Harrison 


Johann Peter Heyderick arrived in Ameri- 
ca on September 1 1,1 738, on the ship "Rob- 
ert and Alice." He settled in Lancaster Coun- 
ty, Pennsylvania, near the Swatara Gap in the 
Blue Mountains. He had experienced military 
training before coming to America. Quickly, 
he organized "Fort Swatara." This was before 
the French and Indian War. He held the rank 
of Captain even after provincial troops were 
stationed at the fort. After the war, the Hey- 
derick family continued to live and farm in 



L to R: Lizzie Foltz, Delilah Fishel, Alva Foltz 
Foltz, 1895. 

Sidney Foltz, Charley Foltz, Lucinda Fishel Foltz and Leila 

the Swatara Gap area. Between 1755 and 
1760, Johann Peter Heyderick's two sons, 
Peter and Adam, immigrated from Pennsyl- 
vania to North Carolina to the area which is 
now Silver Hill Township of Davidson Coun- 
ty along the west side of the Four Mile Branch. 

The Revolutionary War began; Johann 
Peter Heyderick organized, out-fitted and 
trained a company of men to be attached to 
Colonel Green's Battalion (Flying Camp) of 
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was 
then commissioned a Lt. Colonel. 

Johann Peter Heyderick's son, Peter, was 
active with the North Carolina troops and 
was commissioned a Captain. Captain Peter 
Hedrick was a farmer, a patriot and a leader in 
founding the Beck's Reformed Church (now 
the Beck's United Church of Christ). 

Captain Peter Hedrick had six children. 
Two of his children, George and Adam, have 
lineage that can be traced to the children of 
John Franklin Ward (Frank Ward) and his 
wife, Pearlie Ester Hedrick Ward. 

George Hedrick had nine children. Colonel 
Phillip Hedrick was the oldest. He had eight 
children. The eldest, Samuel Hedrick, had 
two children, Barbara and Neaty. Neaty 
Hedrick married Allen Hedrick (another lin- 
eage from Captain Peter Hedrick not yet 
traced). Neaty and Allen Hedrick had six chil- 
dren. The youngest child was Pearlie Ester 
Hedrick. She married John Franklin Ward. 

Pearlie Ester Hedrick Ward inherited 35.5 
acres of land located on both sides of the Four 
Mile Branch in Davidson County from Neaty 
and Allen Hedrick. Part of this land was deed- 
ed to the family of Allen Hedrick in 1876 from 
Daniel and Tempa Swing in Deed Book 23, 
page 52 1 of the Davidson County Registry of 
Deeds. This land is included in the lands now 
owned by the Frank Ward Estate. 

Captain Peter Hedrick's son, Adam, had 
eight children. His third child, Phillip, had 
seven children. Phillip's youngest child, Loui- 
sa Hedrick married Fisher Ward. They had 
seven children. John Franklin Ward was the 
second child. 

Phillip, Adam's third child, was a large land 
owner. He willed to Louisa's seven children a 
tract of land containing over 140 acres. He 
willed Louisa over 50 additional acres. The 
1 40 acres were divided in 1 939. 21.85 acres of 
this land are now included in the Frank Ward 

Estate. Also, the 50 acres willed to Louisa and 
the additional land Fisher Ward inherited 
from another Captain Peter Hedrick lineage 
was divided in 1 939. Of these lands 45.5 acres 
are included in the Frank Ward estate. 

My father and mother farmed this land 
which they inherited. Over a lifetime they 
have accumulated an additional 490 acres 
which presently comprises the Frank Ward 

Pearlie Ester Hedrick Ward and John 
Franklin Ward had eight children. One is 
deceased. The seven remaining children 
jointly own the farm. James Franklin Ward, 
Jr., the oldest, still lives at the farm and farms 
the land. Submitted by Wayne A. Ward 


The Hege farm has been owned by the 
Heges since 1 835. In May of that year, David 
Hege, Jr. bought the 1 90 acre tract on Muddy 
Creek in the Arcadia Community from Wil- 
liam Scott. 

The Philip Hege barn, Clemmons, N.C. 

At David's widow's death in 1869, their 
son, Philip Hege, started farming the land. 
When he died in 1926, his son, S.O. Hege, 
inherited the homeplace. S.O.'s son, Howard 
Hege, ran the farm until his death in January, 
1985. At the present time, the 136 acre farm 
is owned by Mrs. Howard Hege and her 
daughter. Over the years various crops have 
been grown. 

Howard Hege and his family raised tobac- 
co, corn, wheat, sweet potatoes, Irish pota- 

toes, hogs and a few cows. 

Submitted by Mrs. Howard Hege 


Sometime about 1 750, the Felix and Regi- 
na Long family traveled with other German 
Reformed people from Pennsylvania and set- 
tled in Rowan County, now Davidson Coun- 
ty. On February 2, 1 768, abstract book 6, p. 
592, Rowan County, Felix Long deeded 740 
acres to Thomas and Jacob Long. Thomas to 
John Long, his part of the 740 acres deeded in 
1 848 John Long to Iseral Long. In 1 887 Iseral 
Long heirs to John P. Long. In 1929 John P. 
Long heirs to Hoy L. Long — 30 acres this 
being part of the 740 acres that has never been 

There are about twenty some houses on 
that one time farm. My son Michael Long has 
some over 100 acres he farms. 

Submitted by Hoy L. Long 


The farm presently owned by Mrs. Lee Mil- 
ler (Frankie) of Lexington is located near 
Abbotts Creek south of Lexington in an area 
locally known as Sheet's Bottom. The original 
farm (now approximately 30 acres) has been 
handed down six generations and subdivided 
many times over to heirs. Newer land acquisi- 
tions since 1 900 have increased the total pres- 
ent farm size to over 1 60 acres. 


Adam and Zack Miller, great-grandsons of Mrs. Lee 
Miller, at the grave marker of George (Gorg) Miller. 

A deed of grant for a large tract of land was 
made to George Miller in 1762. George (old 
spelling was Gorg Miller) was the first genera- 
tion to America. He served as a Captain in the 
Revolutionary War. His resting place, along 
with other family members, is located in the 
heart of the original farm. 

Uses of the farm over the past 200 plus 
years included grazing, the growing of small 
grains, corn, various vegetables, cotton, tree 
farming for lumber production and of course, 
hunting by family members. 

Mrs. Miller, now 94 years of age, still lives 
in the house she and her husband, Lee, built in 
1917. Lee was a farmer and lumberman and 
passed away in 1 958. They had four sons, two 
still surviving and living within a mile on land 
given them by their parents. 

Submitted by Rod Miller, grandson 


In the early 1750s, Lord Granville of 
England sold to the Moravians a 98,985 acre 
tract of land in the Piedmont of North Caroli- 
na. They named this settlement "Wachovia,' 



Samuel Lee and Eliza Burke Miller in front of the 
first Miller farm home circa 1920. 

and the price paid for this land was $.35 an 
acre. Sometime about 1870, Samuel Lee Mil- 
ler and his wife, Eliza Burke Miller, bought a 
tract of land that contained 300 acres out of 
this Moravian tract. The land is in Midway 
Township in the northern part of Davidson 

In 1 884, Samuel Miller sold 50 acres to his 
younger brother, Evan Miller and his wife, 
Laura Burke Miller. This 50 acre tract is the 
Century Farm land which is still farmed by 
the current family owners. Mr. and Mrs. Sam- 
uel Miller had three children: Addie Miller 
who married Drury Hill; William Franklin 
Miller, who married Florence Eliza Yokley; 
and Jacob Miller, who married Bessie Wag- 

Florence Eliza Miller, daughter of Mr. and 
Mrs. William F. Miller, married Johnnie L. 
Griggs in 1 933 and soon after their marriage, 
they bought the 50 acre tract of land from 
Emmett Miller, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Evan 
Miller. This land has been farmed every year 
since at least 1870. Florence and Johnnie 
have four sons: Johnny Griggs, Jr., William 
Lynn Griggs and Robert Glenn Griggs (who 
are identical twins), and Dale Miller Griggs. 
All four sons were very active in 4-H and FFA. 
They won many awards for their farm proj- 
ects which included land judging, public 
speaking, land conservation and the fair 
showings of tobacco, dairy and Angus cattle, 
field crops, hay and grains. 

Through the years, other smaller tracts of 
land have been purchased and the current 
total size of the family farm is about 85 acres. 
Very little land is available for farming in 
Midway because it is a high growth area for 
residential and commercial use. Our land 
remains in its original state, and is being used 
for pasture land to support a herd of about 
thirty Black Angus cattle. The farm produces 
crops of tobacco, corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, 
hay and some produce for sale. Some stands 
of the virgin forest are still on the property. 

Florence and Johnnie's six grandsons are 
still active in farming activities. One of John- 
nie's greatest treasures is the Century Farm 
plaque. I'm sure that my grandparents and 
parents would have been proud of it. We owe 
so much to them for their wise foresight and 
hard work. Submitted by Johnnie Griggs, Sr. 


Jacob Zinck of Mayamensing, Germany, 
boarded the ship Richard and Mary, to travel 
to the new world. He arrived in Pennsylvania 
in 1754. 

In 1763 Jacob bought 300 acres in Rowan, 
now Davidson County. The land was divided 
between two of his sons: Phillip ( 1 70 acres) 
and Johannes (130 acres). Johannes' son, 
Johannes, inherited his father's land. In the 
early 1 800s, the spelling of the name changed 
to Sink, and he shortened his name to John 
and passed the land to his oldest son, Adam, 
who continued farming. 

Andrew's son, Williams, was to inherit the 
farm, but he was killed on a horse, leaving 
another son, John L., to inherit the land. John 
was a brick mason in Greensboro but moved 
back to the farm in 1 9 1 4. He had two daugh- 
ters, Mary and Louise who worked on the 
farm along with Mary's son, John Ellis Sink, 
who helped his grandfather farm. 

In 1934, the Lexington City Lake devel- 
oped, taking part of the original tract. Years 
later after the lake expanded and divided por- 
tions of the farm, the portions were sold. 

When John L. died in 1 944, approximately 
60 acres were left to his wife, Annie, until her 
death in 1972, when the land was inherited by 
Mary and deeded to John Ellis. 

John and his son, John Jr., continued farm- 
ing, specializing in small grains, corn and soy- 
beans, and purchased additional land that 
now covers 82 acres. 

In 1980, John Ellis ventured full time into 
the greenhouse business, and John Jr. gradu- 
ally assumed more of the farm management 
naming the acreage "Lakewood Farm" in 
1985. He plans to continue the family tradi- 
tion of farming. Submitted by John Sink, Jr. 


A purchase by Charles Smith in 1880 of 
246 acres lying between Swearing Creek and 
Potts Creek and surrounding the historical 
site of Jersey Church formed the nucleus of 
the land owned by the heirs of Charles Smith 
for four generations. Charles Smith, who 
owned a brick home and property on Smith 
Mountain, moved to his "Jersey Farm" 
where he resided with his daughter, Susan 
Elizabeth Smith, until his death in 1 894. Hav- 
ing previously conveyed 55 acres to his son, 
Lindsay Adderson Smith, the remaining 
property was willed to his other children, 
Susan Elizabeth Smith, John Franklin Smith, 
Margaret Jane Crawford and Mary Frances 

The Smith homeplace on Lovelea Farm in Lexing- 
ton, N.C. 

At an early age the elder son of Lindsay 
Smith, Willie Lovelace Smith, spent most of 
his time with his "Grandpa Charlie and Aunt 
Bettie" and upon his marriage to Esther Shar- 
pe in 1901, moved his new bride into the 
Smith homeplace. A year later Susan E. Smith 

Palmer (Aunt Bettie) died leaving all her real 
estate to her nephew, Willie. A conscientious, 
hard-working farmer, Willie took advantage 
of every opportunity and was successful in 
periodically purchasing all of the original 
tract except the 55 acres of his father. Willie's 
industrious wife and family of eight children 
remodeled the old homeplace several times. 
He also swapped and purchased other proper- 
ty adjoining his beloved home until at his 
death, in 1945, he had accumulated approxi- 
mately 330 acres. In large part the real estate 
he had accumulated was divided among his 
three boys. 

Willie Lovelace Smith, Jr. received the 
homeplace where his mother continued to 
reside. "Dub" continued the sound farming 
practices taught by his father and in 1953 
expanded into the dairy business. When 
George, his son, returned from N.C. State 
University in 1977, the dairy herd was 
increased, a new free-stall, lounging barn for 
220 head was constructed, and George 
assumed major responsibilities of the opera- 
tion on approximately 100 acres of the origi- 
nal land purchase by Charles Smith in 1880. 
This Century Farm continues to produce 
some of its forage for the dairy herd on the 
original tract along with approximately 1200 
acres of leased farm land. "Dub" continues to 
dream of improvements and possibilities for 
productive operation of Smith's Lovelea 
Farm in the centuries to come. 

Submitted by W.L. Smith, Jr. 


On February 1 1, 1882, Calvin (or Callie) 
H. Welborn and his wife, the former Margaret 
Catherine Veach, bought 100 acres of land in 
Davidson County from Thomas A. Finch and 
his wife, Rebecca. The original farm was rec- 
tangular in shape, with the Davidson County 
line as its eastern boundary. 

The Welborn family — From I to r: Paul Hansel, C. 
Hansel, Betty Jo and Joanna Joy. This picture was 
taken in 1986. 

At the time the farm was purchased, the 
couple had seven children, and later, four 
more were born. All 1 1 lived to be adults. 
Although the family was large, many of the 
children did not marry until late in life or not 
at all and there were not many grandchildren. 
Also, four sons left the area and made their 
homes elsewhere. Through the years, by 
inheritance and sale from one heir to another, 
the major part of the acreage became the 


Davidson — Davie 

property of a grandson, Odell L. Welborn, 
and his wife, Isabella. They also bought 
adjoining land and the combined acreage was 
farmed by Mr. Welborn until his death in 

Fifty-four acres from the original 100 acre 
farm bought by Callie H. Welborn is now part 
of the farm that belongs to his great-grandson 
and namesake, Calla Hansel Welborn, and his 
wife, Betty Jo. Hansel holds a full-time job as 
a diesel mechanic, but farming is in his blood. 
He raises most of the feed for his herd of 
polled Hereford beef cattle and he considers 
himself a farmer first. 

The Welborns have two children, Paul, age 
26, and Joanna, age 20, who are the fourth 
Welborn generation to grow up on this farm. 
We hope they won't be the last. 

Submitted by Betty Jo Welborn 


The earliest known origins of this Wright 
family of Davidson County were in the north- 
eastern section of the Cid-Silver Valley com- 
munity. Thomas Jefferson Wright (son of 
Macajah Wright and grandson of Richard 
Wright), married Delilah Elizabeth Hedrick, 
daughter of George W. Hedrick of the Hedr- 
ick's Grove community. 

Thomas Wright's first house, built in 1875, as it 
looked in 1953. 

On April 1 , 1875, George Hedrick sold land 
on the present Cid Road to his daughter and 
new son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas 
Wright. Ever since 1875, Mr. and Mrs. Thom- 
as Wright or their descendants have lived on 
the land George Hedrick sold to them. To this 
day the land is still used by the Wright family 
descendants for farming and homesteads. 

Thomas Jefferson Wright was a miner and 
later a foreman of a mine. Although Thomas 
farmed to a lesser extent than mining, his 
family members and hired hands did much of 
the farming. Thomas died due to a mining 
explosion in 1906 in the Herculees Gold and 
Copper Company's mine in Cid. 

The first house that Thomas Wright built 
(about 1 875) was a log building with a chim- 
ney on one end and a cellar under boards in 
front of the fireplace. The cellar was used to 
store vegetables. Shortly after the log house 
was completed, he added a two-story struc- 
ture to the front of the log house. 

Thomas Jefferson and Delilah Wright had 
the following children: Carl Rober, Grace, 
Sally, John Duffy, Arthur Franklin, Carrie 
Eldora, Guerney Nathaniel, Beulah, Essie, 
Albert, Cleta and Claude. Essie, Claude, and 
Albert died before they were 18 years of age 

from diseases such as pneumonia, diptheria 
and cholera. 

In 1905 Thomas sold a homestead and 
farm from part of his land to his son, 
Arthur,and his daughter-in-law, Ida Lee Lam- 
beth Wright. Over a period of years, Arthur 
eventually acquired all the remaining land 
originally owned by Thomas Wright. 

Arthur and Ida Wright's children were as 
follows: Lloyd, Ollie Dolan (OD), Blanche, 
Wayne, Willard, Bickett, Bruce, Luther and 
Margie. Arthur was a tobacco farmer for 22 
years and then was a dairy farmer. The family 
raised its own chickens, pigs, vegetables and 
cows. Older children helped to take care of 
younger children; all family members helped 
with farming chores, and the children went to 
school for a few months of the year. At times, 
the family would board the local school teach- 
er. Eventually all the children except Margie 
and Luther married and moved out of the 
original homestead. All the land originally 
owned by Thomas Wright was transferred to 
Arthur Wright who transferred it to his chil- 
dren Margie, Luther, Bruce and Bickett. 
Bruce Wright owns the largest amount of the 
original land. 

Robert Bruce Wright, son of Arthur and Ida 
Wright, is still living on a part of the original 
Thomas Wright land. Bruce's three siblings 
and his descendants (Michael Drozd, Nancy 
Drozd and Janice Hughes) own the smaller 
remaining parcels of the land. 

Robert Bruce Wright married Sarilla Mae 
Winkler in 1 94 1 and had three children: Nan- 
cy Carolyn, Ruth Elaine, and Janice Marie. 
Bruce, now retired from being an owner of a 
hosiery mill in the local area, still has many 
beef cattle and does some vegetable farming. 

The name Wright has a long history in the 
Cid-Silver Valley area of Davidson County 
beginning with Richard Wright Sr. of the 
1700s and ending with his descendants. 
Thomas Wright, one of Richard's descen- 
dants, lived in the Cid-Silver Valley area. 
Land that Thomas attained in 1875 still 
remains in the hands of his grandchildren and 
great-grandchildren. Submitted by Bruce Wright 

Davie County 


The Bailey-Ratledge Farm was purchased 
in 1 829 by Richmond Brockton Bailey ( 1 809- 
1 89 1 ). At that time the house was a traditional 
log cabin. The original log cabin is contained 
within the present structure which was added 
to and changed by the five generations of 
owners to accommodate their needs and 

The Ratledge farm in Davie County. The original 
log cabin, contained within this existing structure, 
was built in the early 1800s. 

tastes. The largest addition was made in 1 878 
by Caspar Giles Bailey (1845-1920) who 
inherited it from his father. 

A niece, Bettie Ann (Bailey) Ratledge 
(1873-1929), inherited the property from 
Caspar Bailey. She was married to James H. 
Ratledge (1871-1933). Their son, Ralph 
Caspar Ratledge (1901-1988), inherited the 
property in 1933. He and his wife, Gladys 
Mae (Thompson) Ratledge, gave the property 
to their two children, James Lowe Ratledge 
and Bettie Sue Ratledge Rix in 1 985. They are 
the present owners. 

The Bailey-Ratledge farm originally con- 
tained approximately 122 acres; it now con- 
tains approximately 75 acres. Over the years 
the major crops have been corn, wheat, tobac- 
co and cotton. 

Before electricity was installed in 1 935, the 
house had an installed carbide lighting sys- 
tem. The in-ground carbide tank remains. A 
dairy farm operated efficiently before elec- 
tricity because the milk could be kept cool in 
a spring house which still stands. The water 
remains approximately 53 degrees year long. 
Water was pumped to the house by a gasoline 
engine. The spring is still the source of elec- 
tricity pumped water. 

Only five of the twelve supporting build- 
ings remain. The "old kitchen," which was 
separated from the main house remains as a 
storage room and is now connected to the 
house by a carport. 

The land is still being farmed by a tenant. 

Submitted by James L. Ratledge 


The Charles farm is located in the Jerusa- 
lem Township in Davie County on the waters 
of the Yadkin River and Reedy Branch. 

The Charles home in Mocksville, N.C. 

This land was first owned by Sarah Crump 
before the year 1 873. James A. Crump inher- 
ited this land at her death. On March 28, 
1897, James A. Crump and Bettie Crump 
deeded this land to John C. Charles and wife, 
Sallie Crump. Charles John and Sallie built a 
house on this farm and raised seven children. 

John C. Charles and son, James, farmed the 
land until 1 9 1 7. At this time John and family 
moved to Mt. Airy and left James to farm. 

James raised small grain and tended the 
land with machinery. John moved his family 
back in 1 92 1 . He went into business at Greasy 
Corner, operating a cotton gin and left the 
farming up to James. 

Around 1950, John deeded the farm to 
James to pay him for his labor. James handed 
the deed back to his mother, Sallie, and told 
her to keep it and he and dad would go on as 


usual. James farmed the land as long as he was 
able and then rented the land for farming. 

At James' death, he left the land to be divid- 
ed between his three older sisters. The three 
younger sisters sued him for a share of the 
land. They lost the lawsuit. 

At James' death in 1 970, Mary with no chil- 
dren and Marguerite with two sons were dead. 
Louise inherited the land. Louise paid Mar- 
guerite's sons for her part of the land. When 
the deed for Louise Charles Campbell was 
drawn up in 1972, she had a deed drawn for 
her daughter, Mary Louise, and husband, 
Donald H. Smith. 

The farm is still being farmed for small 
grain. Mary and Donald have built on the 
farm and Louise has a trailer close by. Their 
sons, Erik, Jason, and Dustin use an old slave 
cabin for their "cabin" when camping with 
the guys. It is hoped one or all of the three will 
continue farming. 

Submitted by Donald H. Smith 


Everett Frost Etchison's farm has its roots 
in 1762-1784 land grants along Dutchman 
Creek, to the Bryans, Railsbacks and Poores. 
Thomas Furches bought part of these lands. 
When his daughter married Orrell Etchison in 
1852, he gave the choice of "slaves or land." 
She chose the land. 

Everett Frost Etchison. 

Orrell and Louisa built their house on a hill 
which overlooked the Bryans on the north 
and historic Rocky Ford eastward. Daughter, 
Susan, acquired the "Bryan place" 1879; her 
brother John later bought and farmed it. 

Orrell died in 1 882. His son, John, married 
Nana Cain 1897. They lived with Louisa at 
Valley View Farm. Their children were born 
there. When Louisa died, 191 1, John secured 
the home, debt and 1 25 acres. He introduced 
the First purebred livestock and was among 
the first to convert from oxen and water pow- 
er to steampower for mill and farm. 

John died in 1936. His son Everett had 
made, at 32, two major decisions: to stay with 
the land, "I was determined I would pay off 


that debt — and to marry the teacher Lola 
Sofley." He was ever true to his vows. When 
he acquired John's 58 acres they built their 
home on its historic corner and raised and 
educated their children. When John's broth- 
er, Lewis, died in 1940, Everett and Lola 
bought his inherited 48 acres. 

Everett and young son, John, continued 
reclamation and land improvement. Cotton 
and tobacco gave way to progressive program 
of dairy farming. In the 1970s Everett fenced 
his Fields and converted to beef cattle. By then 
the debt was paid, Lola had retired and the 
land was free at last. 

Everett's children and grandchildren live 
close to him — in every respect. Now, he and 
his grandson plow the fields, mow the mead- 
ows and repair the machinery of mill and 
farm. Both daughters and granddaughters 
assist in harvests. Proud of their heritage, they 
will preserve the integrity of their century 
farm into the 21st century. 

Submitted by Annie Laurie Etchison 

Note: Annie Laurie Etchison, who submit- 
ted this article, was killed in a jeep accident on 
this same Etchison Farm since she submitted 
this article. Miss Etchison, aged 80, and her 
brother, Everett Frost Etchison, aged 84, were 
fixing a fence. She died in October 1988. 

Betty Etchison West 


The land for this farm was acquired by Wil- 
liam Frost in 1774. Two tracts (#3491 and 
#3492), which were part of the original Lord 
Granville Grant, were purchased from the 
state of North Carolina. 

Copies of Rowan County deeds indicate 
that William Frost transferred this land to his 
son Ebenezer Frost who deeded it to his son, 
Isaac Newton Frost, of Rowan County. 

In 1836, Davie County was formed from 
Rowan County. In 1872, Isaac Newton Frost 
transferred the land to his four living chil- 
dren, one of whom was Elizabeth Amy Frost 

In 1926, Elizabeth Amy Frost Cain willed 
her land to her seven living children, one of 
whom was John Boyce Cain, Sr. During the 
span of two wars and a great depression, John 
Boyce Cain, Sr. purchased his brothers' and 
sisters' interests in the land. 

At his death, John Boyce Cain, Sr.'s six liv- 
ing children divided the land into six tracts: 
Tract #1 to Gladys Naylor Cain Pulliam, 27 
acres; Tract #2 to John Boyce Cain, Jr., 27 
acres; Tract #3 to Margaret Faye Cain Rich 
(who also purchased the house and three sur- 
rounding acres), 30 acres; Tract #4 to Mabel 
Joyce Cain Benton, 42 acres; Tract #5 to 
Lucille Elizabeth Cain Hartman, 42 acres; 
Tract #6 to Eleanor Gray Cain Blackmore, 7 1 

John Boyce Cain, Sr. was devoted to the 
North Carolina Department of Agriculture's 
methods — such as terracing the hills, plant- 
ing ground covers, and caring for the soil with 
crop rotation. He grew grains, cotton, tobacco 
and hay for his animals. As dairy cows 
became a source of income, he built a nice 
herd of Jersey and mixed breed cows. He 
operated the cream separator and milked the 
cows by hand, and sold cream and milk. He 
was always very concerned for his animals' 
welfare and became a self-taught veterinarian 
for himself and for his neighbors. 

In the early days, the farm work was done 
by horses. Finally in the 1 930s the great Ford- 
son tractor and the first truck became avail- 
able to him. 

Even though John Boyce Cain, Sr. bought 
some land, it was very hard for him to make a 
living for his family in the fields because so 
much had to be spent for "hired help." He was 
not the most successful farmer in the area, but 
no one worked more diligently to carry on the 
family tradition. And no one cared more for 
the land than he did. 

Today the house (built in 1926), the coun- 
try store (built in 1 885) and two outbuildings 
still stand. Most of the land is now field and 
forest, but a lovely rolling lawn, fragrant flow- 
er gardens and a half-acre vegetable garden 
are tended by Faye Cain Rich and her hus- 
band Fred. Submitted by Faye Cain Rich 


Between the years 1765 and 1775, Peter 
Glasscock and his second wife Elizabeth 
Madden, with their children, came from Far- 
quar County, Virginia to North Carolina to 
make their home. They received a land grant 
from Lord Carterette for about 500 acres of 
land. This land was in what is now Calahan 
Township in Davie County, on the north side 

John Boyce Cain (in overalls) and Wade B. Smoot (in dark hat) at days end, walking the horses, Dolly (grey), 
Nell (grey) and Tony (bay) towards the corn crib. Picture is circa 1920. 


of Ijames Church Road, along the banks of 
Bear Creek. Two of Peter Glasscock's cous- 
ins, Charlotte and Gregory Glasscock, built a 
dam across the creek and erected a sawmill 
and gristmill powered by water. 

In the division of Peter Glasscock's estate, 
the 500 acre grant went to one of his boys, 
James Glasscock, and his wife, Sallie Booe, 
the daughter of Jacob Booe, who lives east of 
Mocksville in the Dulin Church community. 

The James Glasscock family lived in about 
the middle of the land. They were brandy 
makers and gold miners. Many of the gold 
mines are still visible. They were parents of 
five boys and four girls. One of the boys, 
Thomas N.B. Glasscock is my grandfather. 
My father, James L. Glasscock, built his 
house on the south side of the land grant. I am 
the youngest of three girls and three boys born 
to the James L. Glasscock family. As a young 
boy, I played in the creek where the dam had 
all washed out except the mud sill and ends of 
planks under water. Many of the churches in 
the community used the place to baptize their 
members. The mud sill was pulled out of the 
creek about 20 years ago. It appeared to be as 
sound as it was 200 years back when it was put 
in, but in six months, it was only a mound of 
dust. Submitted by M.E. Glasscock, Sr. 


Luther Miller and Mary Miller, my grand- 
father and mother, bought half of the place I 
own in 1 872 from the Van Eatons on Septem- 
ber 14. He bought the other half that I own 
from the N.B. Brock estate on August 31, 

There was an old house on the Van Eaton 
land where they lived until death. He died in 
1880; she in 1901. Five boys and four girls 
were born to this union. 

There were 387 acres, and my father, Lon- 
nie L. Miller inherited and bought a total of 
204 acres of which my brother, J. Vernon, and 
I inherited and bought. Vernon operated a 
dairy farm until retiring in 1 969. L. Gene Mil- 
ler continues the farming. In 1 969 my oldest 
son, Lonnie Gene, Jr., joined in the operation 
of "Gemini Branch Dairy Farm." Later in 
1 984, a younger son, Patrick Carson, returned 
to the farm to assist. It was necessary to 
increase production to be able to continue 
farming. Additional acreage was obtained in 
the area and the availability of leasing land 
has added to the operations. 

When I retire in 1989, the plans are for a 
third son, Michael Anthony, to join his broth- 
ers, with an already partly established dairy 
herd, to increase and continue the farming 
operations of the Miller Farm. 

Submitted by L. Gene Miller 


George Jacob Miller was born in Germany 
on August 23, 1748. He came to America 
before the Revolutionary War. He had 13 
brothers and sisters. He married Maria 
Agness Sawer, born in Pennsylvania on 
March 14, 1780. After the war they raised a 
large family on a farm in Cabarrus County. At 
the time of his death he willed his farm to 
Mathias Miller, his youngest child and fifth 
son. Jacob Miller's farm was a grant from the 
state of North Carolina of 420 acres. 


The original house that Mathias Miller built. John 
Albert Miller, Sr. and his wife and six of their nine 
children are pictured. 

Mathias Miller, born in Cabarrus County 
on September 25, 1807, married Catherine 
Fagget. His mother, Maria Agness, died in 
1829 two years before he was married. He 
continued living with his father until his 
father's death August 10, 1840. He sold his 
father's farm and came to Davie County in 
1857. The 1 860 census for Davie County lists 
his family as 1 1 children (four daughters and 
seven sons). Out of the 1 1 children, only three 
were living at his death. Julia Christina, John 
Albert and Elijah were living. Julia Christina 
was never married. John Albert was married 
January 3, 1 900 to Lillie Belle Thompson. He 
and his sister, Julia, continued to live with 
their father until his death. 

In 1874 Mathias Miller deeded several 
acres of land to the Lutheran Church. The 
original structure still stands over 100 years 
old. Also, he deeded several acres of land for 
a school. 

Much like his father before him, he gave 
each child a plantation when they married. 
He left the homeplace to his daughter, Julia 
Christina. In turn she willed the farm to her 
two nephews, Daniel Boone and John Albert, 
Jr. Miller. At that time the farm was divided. 
John Albert, Jr. was deeded a tract of land 
near the homeplace, a total of 500 acres in the 
entire farm. 

In 1900, John Albert, Sr. married Lillie 
Thompson. They lived at the homeplace with 
Julia. They had nine children (seven girls and 
two sons). At the time of John Albert Sr.'s 
death in November, 1 924 the girls were in col- 
lege. John Albert, Jr., the youngest child, had 
married and was at home. Daniel Boone was 
in school in Nashville, Tennessee when he 
received a diploma in 1928. His mother and 
aging aunt asked him to come back to the farm 
to manage the cattle and tenants. Daniel mar- 
ried Veola Smith on September 16, 1933. 
They moved into a tenant house near the 
homeplace. They had three children; a daugh- 
ter, Gloria Rose, and two sons, Daniel Boone, 
Jr. and Mathias Smith. He looked after the 
farm and started buying and raising cows, 
first selling cream to a nearby creamery. Soon 
Daniel got an electric power line in the com- 
munity — a big help toward an A-grade dairy. 
He and a neighbor persuaded an A-grade 
route truck to come into the community. He 
built his herd with registered Holsteins, 
milked in a modern building with all modern 
equipment. Due to bad health, he sold the 
dairy cows in 1972 and continued with beef 
cattle. He died in 1 977, willing the farm to his 
wife, Veola S. Miller. 

Due to two years of bad weather, the beef 
cattle have been reduced, but Veola plans to 
keep some beef. 

Veola S. Miller is living on the farm and 
with family help, has been able to keep the 
farm going. Submitted by Veola S. Miller 


The farm of Vernon and Florence Miller 
lies in the Farmington Township of Davie 
County. Tradition says that on this property 
stood the cabin of Joseph Bryan whose daugh- 
ter, Rebecca, married the frontiersman, Dan- 
iel Boone. This farm of 108 acres has been in 
the Miller family since purchased by Ver- 
non's grandfather, Luther. Luther Leonidas 
Miller purchased land in 1853, 1874 and 
1876 to form his farm of 656 acres. 

Joseph Vernon and Florence Miller, October, 1986. 

Luther raised wheat and the farm pros- 
pered, but he died in 1 880 leaving the proper- 
ty to his wife, Mary Taylor Miller. Later the 
land was divided between the seven children. 

One of these, Leonidas Lee (Lonnie), father 
of Vernon, purchased three shares to add to 
his and owned 266 acres by 1897. He raised 
wheat and livestock, including mules, cattle, 
sheep and registered swine. Being a progres- 
sive farmer, Lonnie purchased his first tractor 
in 1919. Farm production increased and a 
Guernsey dairy herd was established. He 
began selling Grade A milk to Forsyth Dairy 
and his farm had the first terraced fields in j 
Davie County. Farm workers were sharecrop- 
pers in the early years and then day laborers 
until 1950 when the farm was fully media- s 
nized. In 1935, electricity brought milking; 
machines as well as other benefits. During 
World War II, the herd was changed to Hol- 
stein and milk was sold to Farmers Coopera- 
tive Dairy where Vernon served on the Board 
of Directors for 26 years. 

In 1952, Vernon began business on his 
share of the farm. Lonnie, being 82 years old, ! 
had divided the farm between two sons. Ver- 
non soon doubled production of his dairy 
farm and made many other improvements. 
He retired in 1969 and rents his land to his 
brother. Vernon and Florence have two chil- 
dren: Martha, a retired teacher and Bayne, a 
veterinarian. Since retirement, Vernon and 
Florence have been active in the National 
Campers and Hikers Association and have 
traveled extensively with their many friends. 
They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniver- ' 
sary in December 1988 and continue to be 
active in their church and community. 

Submitted by J. Vernon Miller 



This farm is in Calahaln Township, and it 
is part of the 1 54 acre tract farm bought by my 
great-grandfather, Simeon Seaford, and wife, 
Eliza Smith Seaford in 1849. The farm is off 
U.S. Highway 64 in the Center community. 

The farm was deeded to my grandfather by 
his parents in 1879, and my grandfather was 
married to Alice McDaniel in 1881. The tract 
we have is a part of the share my father, Wil- 
liam Maxie Seaford, who married Mary Ever- 
hardt, received. My father died in 1950 and 
my mother is still living. I am married to the 
former Pearline Beck. 

Simeon and Eliza built a full two-story log 
house out of forest pines in the 1850s. The 
house is still standing and is in fair condition. 
It is used as an outbuilding. The house and 
kitchen were built separately, and the kitchen 
was one story. The kitchen is no longer stand- 
ing. The house had one huge fireplace for heat 
and the kitchen chimney was built for cooking 
over the fire and had a pot rack in it. The 
house was originally covered with wood shin- 
gles, which were replaced by a standing seam 
metal roof which is still on the house. The 
ends and back side of the house have weather 
boarding over the logs, but the front does not. 
The logs are exposed on the inside. The metal 
roof was put on in 1915. 

The farm is in pasture and we raise feeder 
calves for the feeder calf market. 

Submitted by William M. Seaford 


The Tatum farm homeplace is located on 
the South Yadkin River in Davie County. 
The farm is four miles above the fork of the 
North Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers, two 
miles downstream from Cooleemee. 

E.C. "Zeke" and Katherine Tatum training their 
grandson to continue the farming tradition. 

The Tatums were among the early settlers 
in America, landing at Charlestowne, Virgin- 
ia in 1620. Ancestors then lived in Virginia 
until George Tatum (17 -1801) sold 1 3 1 
acres of land in 1 78 5 and brought his family to 
the forks of the Yadkin. 

Ezra Washington Tatum (1817-1895), 
grandson of George, purchased 320.5 acres 
and the historic Ford-Tatum home in 1854. 
Ezra bought 80 adjoining acres in 1865. 
Albert Ezra Tatum (1861-1 940), son of Ezra, 
and his son, Ezra Carl Tatum, Sr. ( 1 898- 1959) 
and wife, Jamie Mauney Tatum (1898-1 969) 
were subsequent owners. 

The present owners and residents are Ezra 
Carl Tatum, Jr. and wife, Katherine Feezor 

Davie — Duplin 

Tatum, and Ezra Carl Tatum, III, and wife, 
Tina Bost Tatum. 

After operating as a crop and livestock 
farm, 90 acres of crop land was planted in lob- 
lolly pines in 1960. Eight acres of white pine 
Christmas trees were planted in 1962. The 
dairy herd was sold in 1 964 and approximate- 
ly 20 acres of Christmas trees were planted 
annually until 100 acres were growing. The 
total acreage in planted loblolly pines is over 
225 acres. 

The Tatums started selling Christmas trees 
both choose and cut and wholesale in 1971. 
Being one of the first Christmas tree farms to 
offer a big selection of trees, Tatum farms has 
a lot of activity in the month of December. 
Katy and her husband, Bob Crews, help her 
parents and brother during busy periods. 
Robert, 1 Vi year old son of Katy and Bob, also 
enjoys the Christmas tree sales. 

Submitted by E.C. Tatum, Jr. 


Since the early 1850s four generations of 
Woodruffs have been land owners in Davie 
County — the tract of land running along 
Milling Road. 

The Woodruff farmhouse in Davie County. 

John Issac Woodruff came to Davie Coun- 
ty from Yadkin County. He housed his wife 
and three children in a log cabin, which was 
already on the property, until the plantation 
house could be constructed. Timber was cut 
from the land and his slaves made the brick to 
erect the Greek Revival style farmhouse, con- 
sisting of eight rooms, two large halls with a 
handsome stairway leading to the second 
floor. There was a separate brick kitchen, ice 
house, carriage house, cotton house, grainery, 
and a log corn crib (still standing). This was a 
self-sustaining plantation. The main crops 
were tobacco, cotton, wheat and corn. John I. 
and his wife, Amelia Martin, lived there until 
their deaths. 

The farm descended to their son, Sanford 
A. Woodruff, and his wife, Janie Gaither. 
They continued the same line of general farm- 
ing. Their eldest son Charles Gaither Wood- 
ruff remained at the farm with his father. 
They operated with the help of sharecroppers 
housed on the land. They added cattle, sheep 
and sold an abundance of wool. 

Charles G. and his wife, Ella McMahan, 
moved their family to Mocksville in 1911. 
Charles remained active in the farm opera- 
tion. His eldest son, Tom, and wife, Sarah 
Charles, returned to the farm in 1 928 to assist 
the grandfather. The same year Sanford A. 
met an untimely death when a large hay fork 
fell from the loft and killed him. 

The farm descended to Charles Gaither 
Woodruff. Around 1930, a dairy operation 
was started and continued until 1945. Vari- 
ous members of this family owned the land 
jointly for short intervals. 

Today, the 2 1 6 acres (Ella-Wood Farms) is 
owned by Charles W. Woodruff, Sr. (youngest 
son of Charles G.) and his wife, Christine 
Hendricks. The land is leased out. Their son, 
Charles, Jr., has two riding horses on the 
property with temporary living quarters in 
the house. Submitted by Charles W. Woodruff 

Duplin County 


It is recorded at the Duplin County Court- 
house that Theophilus Barfield's heirs sold 
their slaves to purchase the land that is pres- 
ently known as the Bennett farm. The story 
has been handed down through several gener- 
ations that the Barfield Plantation owned a 
number of slaves. Realizing that slaves were 
soon to receive their freedom, the Barfields 
sold their slaves and used that money to pur- 
chase land. 

1886, Bennett homestead. 

The land that they purchased is located in 
the southwest corner of Duplin County. This 
land extends into the edges of both Wayne 
and Sampson counties. 

Theophilus Barfield, the original owner of 
this land, married in 1811. He and his wife 
had eight sons and four daughters. The con- 
nection between the Barfields and the Ben- 
netts enters into the history of the farm at this 
point. Mary Barfield married Sebron Ben- 
nett. As the children married, the farm land 
was divided. Mordecai Rufus Bennett was the 
only son of Mary and Sebron Bennett. He had 
inherited the land that is in the northwest cor- 
ner of Duplin County, two miles west of 
Calypso. This land extends into Wayne Coun- 
ty four miles southwest of Mount Olive on the 
old Faison-Wilmington Road known as Ben- 
nett Road 1308. 

Mordecai Rufus Bennett, II has one daugh- 
ter, Linda B. Game, and two sons, Mordecai 
Rufus Bennett, III and Gordon Eugene Ben- 
nett. They are presently the owners of the 
farm, which consists of 600 acres. The old 
family cemetery is also located on this tract of 

The homestead was built by Mordecai 
Rufus Bennett in 1886. In 1904 ten rooms 
were added on the original three rooms. The 
house remains the same today except for 
minor changes that have been made on the 
inside of the house. It is presently occupied by 


Mr. and Mrs. M.R. Bennett, Jr. We hope to 
have the home and the farm in the Bennett 
family for years to come. 

Submitted by M.R. Bennett, Jr. 


In 1 860 a parcel of land was sold to Romu- 
lus Blackmore which would form the nucleus 
of the Blackmore land holdings in Duplin 
county. This land had formerly been owned 
by Herrold Blackmore, but had been sold at 
public auction during bankruptcy proceed- 
ings in 1843-44. 

Since 1860 other lands were added to the 
original 78 acres and several generations of 
Blackmores have continuously lived on the 

Frank Blackmore, son of Herrold Black- 
more, had two sons, Went and W.R., both of 
whom lived on the farm and were actively 
engaged in farming. Went never married. Of 
the children of W.R. Blackmore, the youngest 
son, Robert, became the farmer and lived on 
the property until his death in 1974. 

These years were eventful and challenging. 
Tractors replaced mules and fewer tenants 
were needed to cultivate the lands. Diversity 
became a necessity for survival. Although 
tobacco remained the vital cash crop, Robert 
introduced cattle and swine production, 
small grain and pickling cucumber cultiva- 
tion to the total farm program. 

Ruby Blackmore, widow of Robert, contin- 
ues to live on the family farm. A nephew, 
John, grandson of W.R. Blackmore, also lives 
on Blackmore property, but is not engaged in 

Although no Blackmore is actively engaged 
in farming, the lands are successfully man- 
aged; the main cash crops are tobacco, corn 
and soybeans. Proper procedures are being 
carried out to ensure the preservation of the 
land for the descendants of the Blackmore 

A note of current interest is that a section of 
the new Interstate Highway 40 from Wil- 
mington to Raleigh passes across a portion of 
Blackmore land. Surely the ancestors never 
dreamed that such a structure would ever 
become a necessity to accommodate com- 
merce and travel from the east to the west. 

Submitted by Ruby M. Blackmore 


Theodore Cyrus Bland lived on this land all 
of his life. It became his at his father's death in 
1944. He had traced his family line to 
England and was very proud of his heritage. 
The James Bland land has been divided into 

Ciscelia Bland Greer, daughter of Theodore Cyrus 
Bland, in front of her house, built in 1856. This pic- 
ture was taken in 1958. 


small farms. Ours is the original plot that was 
settled in the 17 homesteads on Bull Tail 
Creek. At his father's death, Theodore 
became owner and lived and raised three chil- 
dren (two boys and one girl). Theodore lived 
on this land all of his life and left it to his chil- 
dren, Ciscelia Bland Greer who lives in Gar- 
ner; Ira Thomas Bland who lives in Gastonia; 
and Theodore Douglas Bland who lives in 
Wrightsville Beach. His wife, Mary Jane 
Bland, has a life estate and lives on this farm 

Mary Jane is living in a house they built in 
1 965 which is in front of the old house built in 
1856. It is the fourth one built on this farm, 
one in front of the other. 

The Blands farmed this land for 48 years. 
Tobacco, corn, soybeans, garden and truck 
crops were grown. 

They raised three children and educated 
them. One daughter worked for the State; one 
son is a superintendent in construction; and 
the youngest son is a pharmacist. They are 
very proud of their heritage. 

Theodore Cyrus Bland was 75 when his 
father died at the age of 92. He had an uncle 99 
and Aunt Blands, one 98 and one 99. There 
were eight children born on this land in the 
1 800s — five boys and three girls. Submitted 
by Mary Jane Bland 


The Brice farm is located in Duplin Coun- 
ty, four and one half miles west of Rose Hill. 
It is now owned by a daughter of the fourth 
generation, Kathleen Brice Fisler, youngest of 
ten children. 

The original home of Joseph Brice (1769- 
1829), son, William B. Brice (1819-1902), 
and son, Charlie J. Brice (1868-1959), was 
destroyed by a tornado May 1 1, 1924. The 
home was rebuilt and on August 17, 1957 and 
destroyed by fire on Charles J. Brice's 90th 

In the early 1 800s the farm produced rice in 
the lowland near Rockfish Creek and cotton 
around the house. 

For years corn was grown for cornmeal, 
which was ground at the nearby Newkirk 
Water Mill. Corn was also grown to feed the 
livestock. Potatoes were a primary product. It 
was a food source. Ribbon cane was grown on 
the farm and cooked for syrup. 

Charlie J. Brice family, Rose Hill, N.C 

As for the livestock, cattle, hogs and sheep 
were raised on the farm. The sheep were 
sheared and the wool sold for a profit. Yard 
chickens could be readily seen around the 
house. A team of mules were kept on the farm 
as they were necessary for field work. Fox 
hounds were a pride for Charlie J. Brice to 
show and hunt. 

William F. Brice, son of Charlie J. Brice, 
was the last farm manager. He took over the 
farm after serving in World War I. There was 
quite a herd of cattle and he sold many of 
them to pay the taxes. At his death the farm 
produced tobacco, corn, soybeans, strawber- 
ries and watermelon. 

Today the farm is owned by Kathleen B. 
Fisler. Virgin timber was cut and 46 acres 
were reset in the early 1970s. Corn and soy- 
beans are grown. The old smokehouse is the 
only original building left standing. 

For generations to come the farm should 
prove to be a mark of cultural heritage. 

Submitted by Mrs. Harry T. (Kathleen) Fisler 


In the mid 1 800s, this farm was owned and 
operated by David Wright Cavenaugh and his 
wife Charity Williams Cavenaugh. Corn and 
hogs were the major products produced on 
this farm. The farm consisted of approxi- 
mately 1 00 acres. On the farm was a log house 
built by David Cavenaugh and a stable and 
packhouse combined. Across the road from 
the house was the Paisley Post Office. David 
and Charity had eight children. Jacob, born in 
1863, was the youngest son and came into 
possession of the farm. 

The Cavenaugh farm, Wallace, N.C. 

Jacob Edwards Cavenaugh and his wife, 
Mutie Dail Cavenaugh, operated the farm 
and lived in the same house that his father 
built. Jacob produced corn, hogs and the first 
tobacco in that area. Tobacco was cropped off 
the stalk and carried out of the field in aprons 
to keep it from bruising. Jacob also produced 
honey and operated a gristmill and a cotton 
gin on the farm. Jacob and Mutie had four 
children: Offie, Beulah, Herder and Raeford. 
Each inherited equal shares of the farm. Offie 
added to his share by buying part of Beulah's. 
Offie ended up with approximately 30 acres 
of the original farm. 

Offie Americas Cavenaugh, his wife, Brun- 
nie Batts Cavenaugh, and their three sons, 
Thomas, Earl and Ottis, lived away from the 
farm until the 1920s. Brunnie and the youn- 
gest son, Ottis, both died in the late 1920s. 
After Brunnie's death, Offie and the sons 
moved back to the farm into the original 
house with Offie's parents. At this time, the 
farm produced honey (50-75 hives), corn, cot- 
ton, tobacco, cows and hogs. Offie's brother, 
Raeford, remodeled an old house on his share 
and Offie built a house on his share. These 
two houses are still on the farm. 

Offie's farm is now owned and operated by 
his son, Thomas Allen Cavenaugh and his 
wife, Marguerite Teachey Cavenaugh. They 
have three children: Judy, Larry and Nathan. 
The farm produces corn, soybeans, tobacco 
and chickens. The farm has a house (built by 
Offie), a packhouse, several shelters and out- 
buildings, two poultry houses and two grain 
bins. Submitted by O. Cavenaugh 


Nine miles east of Mt. Olive in the Gar- 
ner's Chapel Community, eight generations 
of Garners have lived. In 1978, Needham 
Garner of Dobbs County (in 1 760 in North- 
hampton County) bought land on the south 
side of the Northeast Cape Fear River in 
Duplin County. His family and his married 
son, Simeon, with wife Rachel, and son 
Nathan moved here. Simeon bought nearby 
land in 1 800 and he was then already a Duplin 

Daniel Herring Garner (left) and Varner Rayford 

Nathan had acquired both original tracts by 
1813 and continued to buy land. Tradition is 
that Nathan had rice fields near the river. He 
also had a grainmill. By 1 860 (census) he had 
7,700 acres in Duplin County. Some of this 
was wife Penelope Kornegay's inherited 
tracts in other areas. When this Garner land 
was divided in 1861 among their ten children, 
it was laid off in strips reaching from the 
Northeast River southward about a mile and 


a half. The public road was moved about a 
mile south of the river. The farm is on the 
south side of this road. 

Basil Garner, son of Nathan, reared his 
family about five miles from his Garner land 
on his wife Julia Ann Herring's inherited 
tract. This couple also acquired more land 
which was lost when Basil had to forfeit a 
neighbor's bond. Basil's son, Daniel Herring 
Garner, and his wife, Octavia Dail, redeemed 
that farm and distributed it to Basil's chil- 
dren. In 1874, D.H. arranged an exchange 
with his brother Simeon to come back to the 
Nathan Garner land inherited by his father 
Basil. He continued to buy until he had 
acquired at least four of the Nathan Garner 
heirs' tracts. D.H. and his son Roscoe operat- 
ed a steam powered cotton gin and sawmill 
here in the early 1 900s. 

In 1917, Daniel Herring Garner deeded 
177.6 acres of this land to Roscoe W. Garner 
and wife, Nell Dickson. It is located on the 
south side of Garner's Chapel Road away 
from the river. This is the farm inherited by 
Roscoe's son, Varner Rayford Garner, in 
1957 and is the century farm. The 570 acres 
on the north side of the road extending to the 
Northeast River were inherited by Roscoe 
Garner's sisters and were sold by heirs to Car- 
olina Turkeys (largest U.S. turkey processor) 
in 1985. 

The century farm is still a family farm on 
which corn, wheat, soybeans, and tobacco are 
grown. Varner Rayford Garner died March 
20, 1986, shortly after being notified about 
the century farm award. The farm is now 
owned by his wife, Nina Mewborn Garner, 
and daughter, Nell Dixon Garner. 

In 1987, Garner descendants placed a 
memorial marker in the 1800-1900 cemetery 
on the south side of the river honoring the first 
four generations of Garners to live here. Also 
a veteran stone with a DAR plaque was placed 
for Needham Garner who served during the 
American Revolution in the Dobbs County 
Militia. Submitted by Nina Mewborn Garner 


James O'Daniel purchased this farm from 
Ivey Becton, January 29, 1852. It originally 
contained 4 1 6 acres more or less, and sold for 
$ 1 ,000. James O'Daniel was Walter V. Gresh- 
am's great grandfather. The farm is located in 
Duplin County on the east side of the North- 
east Cape Fear River between Sarecta and 
Hallsville communities. 

The Hall family home on Oak Ridge farm. Rose 
Hill, N.C. 

James O'Daniel remained the owner of the 
farm until his death in 1901. At that time it 

was passed on to his children. His daughter, 
Hepsey Ann O'Daniel (Hall) inherited it. 
After her death in 1 922, the farm was divided 
between her five nieces and nephews by her 
sister, Linda Annie O'Daniel (Gresham) who 
died in 1 892. Hepsey Ann O'Daniel Hall had 
no children of her own, but she raised a neph- 
ew: Amos Alexander Gresham. The nieces 
and nephews who inherited the farm were 
Amos Alexander Gresham, James Thomas 
Gresham, Barbara Charlottie Gresham 
(Rhodes), George Clayton Gresham, and 
Margaret Adeline Gresham (Kennedy). 

Walter Verneal Gresham's father was 
Amos A. Gresham. His portion or share of the 
farm was the old homestead portion of which 
was 76 acres more or less. Amos A. Gresham 
was raised by his Aunt Hepsey Hall and Uncle 
Amos W. Hall. Amos A. Gresham was the 
owner of this portion of the farm from 1922 
until his death September 23, 1 953. Amos A. 
Gresham and his wife, Janie Elizabeth Gavin 
Gresham raised 12 children on this farm. 

Walter Verneal Gresham, upon the death 
of his father in 1953, began to buy up his 
brothers and sisters shares of the farm. In 
1 958, Walter V. Gresham and his wife, Joyce 
Ann Maready Gresham became the owners of 
the 76 acre portion that belonged to his father. 
Walter V. Gresham and his wife, Joyce Ann 
Maready Gresham raised two children on this 
farm. They were: Wanda Gayle Gresham 
Simmons and Janie Lynn Gresham Fussell. 
Walter V. Gresham holds this farm dear to his 
heart. He was born on this farm April 27, 
1933. This has been the home of his family 
since before the War Between the States. 

There are two historically significant build- 
ings on the farm still standing: the old home- 
place and a cypress log tobacco barn. The old 
corn crib is over 50 years old. The old home- 
place has some portions dating back 100 
years. The cypress log tobacco barn was built 
in 1935. Submitted by Walter V. Gresham 


Oak Ridge Farm grew from an English land 
grant to Isaac Hall in 1796. Since then, six 
generations of Halls have lived there and 
farmed the land. 

Each of Isaac Hall's three sons and three 
daughters were given parcels of land when 
they came of age. One son, Lewis Hall, wanted 
his land and share of inheritance early so he 
could move west to Texas. After he left, how- 
ever, no member of the family heard from 
him or could find out about his whereabouts. 

The family line of those living on the farm 
today descended from Herring Hall, a Civil 
War veteran. 

After the war, the freed slaves were given 
tracts of land, and some of their descendants 
own that same land today. 

In 1874 a millpond and millhouse were 
built for grinding corn and wheat into meal 
and flour. The miller was the descendant of a 
Hall slave, Zade Hall. The millhouse is gone, 
but the pond was made into a 25-acre lake 
used today for recreation by family and com- 
munity members. 

A dairy, Oak Ridge Dairy, was started on 
the farm in the early 1900s. Milk and cream 
produced there were taken to the nearby town 
of Rose Hill for delivery to homes there. Some 
of the milk was also shipped by train to Wil- 
mington and Goldsboro daily. 

The Halls also operated a sawmill and a 
crate factory which produced berry and other 
kinds of crates. 

Crops grown on the farm through the years 
included corn, soybeans, potatoes, cotton, 
tobacco and hay. Livestock raised there were 
cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry. The grazing 
livestock took up a great deal of pasture land. 

Today, corn, soybeans, oats and wheat 
crops are actively farmed and timber acreage 
is harvested. Submitted by Rosalyle B. Hall 


In 1819 William and Rachel Herring 
bought 889 acres of land in the northwestern 
corner of Duplin County. This land was given 
to their son, Bryan Whitfield Herring. Circa 
1 834, Bryan built a three story Greek revival 
house on the land for his bride, Penelope Sim- 
ms of Green County. 

The old Herring house in Duplin County. 

Penelope was the granddaughter of Robert 
Simms who was the first sheriff of Wayne 
County. Bryan Whitfield Herring was a mem- 
ber of the General Assembly and served as 
state senator from Duplin County during the 
sessions of 1850, 1852 and 1854. Together 
they had ten children who all received formal 

During the Civil War their oldest son, Wil- 
liam A. Herring, was elected Captain of Com- 
pany G, later the 40th N.C. Confederate Regi- 
ment, when it was organized in Morehead 
City in 1861. The next son, Benjamin Simms 
Herring, entered the U.S. Naval Academy at 
Annapolis and was a commissioned officer 
when the war broke out. He then entered the 
naval services of the Confederacy. He was an 
officer on the C.S.S. Virginia when it engaged 
the Monitor in the first battle of the ironclad 
ships in March of 1 862. 

Their third son, Needhan Bryan Herring, 
studied medicine. Robert Simms Herring, the 
fourth son, was attending Franklin Academy 
at Louisburg when the war started. He left 
school to join the Fortieth N.C. Confederate 
Coastal Artillery Regiment of which his older 
brother was captain. Robert became the 
fourth sergeant of the company. Later he was 
third assistant engineer and served as block- 
ade runner out of the port of Wilmington. The 
other male children were too young for mili- 
tary duty. 

When Sherman's army marched through 
North Carolina, some of them camped on the 
plantation and the officers used the Herring 
house as headquarters. Although they took 
the families supply of food, the house was not 
burned, and it still stands today. 


About 1 70 acres of the original plantation 
and the house are owned by Patricia Johnson 
Denise who is a great great granddaughter of 
Bryan and Penelope Herring. 

Submitted by Patricia J. Denise 


It has been told time and time again about 
the three young brothers who left their home 
in Ireland and sailed to the United States. The 
brothers then traveled to North Carolina 
where one brother settled in Sampson Coun- 
ty, one in Lenoir County, and the third here in 
Duplin County in the early 1800s. I have 
talked with Kilpatricks from the other two 
locations and they tell the same story about 
these three brothers. 

This picture was taken in 1980, five months before 
David John Kilpatnck died. His wife, Eva, seven 
children, two in-laws and two grandchildren are the 
present owners of the Kilpatnck "Old Homeplace. " 

Amos Kilpatrick was born in Lenoir Coun- 
ty in 1796 and died November 21, 1870 in 
Duplin County. Amos acquired a parcel of 
land in the 1830s. This land was rich, fertile 
land in the center of Duplin County. It was 
located seven miles south of Kenansville on 
Stocking Head Run, with Maxwell Creek run- 
ning through the south side of the land. 
Thomas Kilpatrick, Sr., son of Amos, was 
born July 29, 1832 and farmed this tract of 
land clearing more of it as the family grew. 

Being Scotch Irish and knowing the mean- 
ing of a dollar, they were able to build a little 
homestead at this new site. A few years later 
another house was built a short distance down 
the road. A kitchen was built separate from 
the living and sleeping quarters. Hurricane 
Hazel destroyed both of these in 1954. 

More land was cleared with the hard work 
and help of all family members. They grew 
tobacco, corn, beans, cotton and sweet pota- 
toes. They also raised cows and hogs. 

In 1869, William David Kilpatrick was 
born to Thomas Kilpatrick, Sr. William mar- 
ried Nancy Isabelle Cavenaugh of nearby 
Chinquapin. They raised seven children on 
this land referred to as the "Old Home Place." 
William (Mr. Bill) worked hard and saved his 
money so that when the Depression hit in 
1 930, he was able to prosper. He raised hogs 
to kill so that the meat could be cured and 
sold. At times truck loads would be taken to 
Wilson to be sold. These hogs were raised on 
sweet potatoes and corn. 

Mr. Bill died in 1953 and the "Old Home 
Place" was left to David John, his youngest 
son. David married Eva Sanderson on May 

25, 1949. They also had seven children. 
David, being as thrifty as his father, added to 
his inheritance, increasing this acreage from 
400 to 1 200 acres. David and Eva incorporat- 
ed the farm in 1 972. David died in 1 980 leav- 
ing Eva, their three sons and four daughters as 
the stockholders in Kilpatrick Farms, Inc. 
Eva remarried in 1 983 to LeMar John Ketels- 

Unless something disastrous and unfore- 
seen takes place, this land will continue to be 
farmed by the Kilpatrick children and grand- 
children. Submitted by Kilpatrick Farms, Inc. 


This farm is located astride Burncoat Road 
and astride the headwaters of Burncoat 
Swamp. The term "Burncoat" originated 
here during the Revolutionary War when a 
British Redcoat officer stood too close to an 
open fire while warming his posterior and the 
tail of his coat caught fire. One field is 
believed to have been used as an Indian camp- 
site and field. Arrowheads and pottery have 
been found there and it is close to a spring and 
the ever-flowing waters of Burncoat Swamp. 

Hugh Maxwell bought the farm in 1857, 
and built a two-story house with a separate 
kitchen. The house later burned and the kitch- 
en became the home. The home, which had 
solid wood windows until replaced by glass 
windows around 1 932, was moved about 1 50 
yards where it still stands. A new kitchen was 
added to it. A carriage house with wood floor 
was built and a new building was constructed 
to house the Resaca Post Office. Hugh Max- 
well became postmaster after he was par- 
doned by President Andrew Johnson for 
involvement in the Civil War. Another house 
was added about 1916. Three of our genera- 
tions were born on this farm, delivered by Dr. 
J.F. Maxwell, a country doctor, who was our 
great-uncle and lived a mile away. 

Turpentine was a principal source of 
income until the early 1 900s. It was harvested 
from long leaf pine trees, poured into home- 
made wooden barrels and hauled to Wilming- 
ton by ox-drawn wagons. After 1914, tobacco 
was the main source of income. Although the 
land is a sandy loam, it produces premium 
grades of tobacco and can grow anything. 
Some split rail fence is still in use. 

This farm is part of our national and family 
heritage. It will always produce a living and 
must be kept productive for future genera- 
tions. Submitted by Silas J. Maxwell 


Back in 1871, Louis and Susan Outlaw 
bought 1 50 acres of land for $ 1 500. Most of 
this land was in woods at the time of purchase. 
This land was to remain in the Outlaw family 
from that time to the present. 

Louis and Susan had two sons and three 
daughters. All three of the daughters taught 
school in eastern North Carolina. The two 
sons farmed the land. They grew tobacco, 
corn and cotton. Louis and Susan started 
married life in a two-room house, using a shed 
type building for a kitchen. There were sand 
floors in the building. Later on they added a 
two-story house to the existing two rooms. In 
a few years shade trees and a wooden fence 
were a part of the yard. 

Edgar and Nora Outlaw (the son of Louis 
and Susan) were married in 1915. They lived 
on the farm and tended the land. They had 
three sons and four daughters. The three sons 
are on the farm today. They grow corn, tobac- 
co, soybeans, wheat and have livestock. 

Eugene and Ruth Outlaw (the son of Edgar 
and Nora) were married in 1 946. They are liv- 
ing on this same farm. They have two sons 
and a daughter. They have corn, tobacco, soy- 
beans, wheat and a hog operation. 

Gene and Nancy Outlaw (the son of Eugene 
and Ruth) were married in 1978. They are liv- 
ing on the family farm in a home built with a 
lot of the old wood and beams out of the home 
of Louis and Susan. The home is built in the 
same style and on the same location as the 
original homeplace. They have one son and a 
daughter. Gene now operates a modern hog 
operation on the family farm. Joshua, his son, 
often helps do chores as the family continues 
to keep the century farm alive. 

Submitted by Eugene R. Outlaw 


Isaac M. Powers was born to his mother, 
Margaret, somewhere in Pender County on 
April 4, 1 850. As customary in those days, the 
last name Powers was taken from his white 
masters family. Although laws prohibited it at 
the time, his master taught him how to read 
and keep records of the number of barrels of 
tar that were produced. Isaac had a desire for 
education and a desire to eventually own 

The old Powers home, built bv the Rev. Isaac M. 
Powers in 1890. 

After the War Between the States, Isaac was 
put on his own. Unlike other ex-slaves, Isaac, 
could read and write. 

Powers began buying land, some of it for as 
little as 25 cents an acre. At the height of his 
ownership, he owned over 200 acres in 
Duplin and Pender Counties. 

Powers was also quite active in politics. He 
went around the county and state and spoke 
on behalf of the Republican party. While 
working in politics he was called to preach. He 
preached for over 50 years in churches in the 
southeastern part of North Carolina. 

Many stumbling blocks were placed in 
Isaac's way, but he persevered. The only time 
he showed any bitterness was when he spoke 
about the time he bought a spot of land at an 
auction and when he went to record it, they 
refused him. Later his youngest son, Vent 
Powers, rented a building near the spot for 
over 30 years where he repaired shoes. 

Isaac married Caroline Tate of Pender 
County and they had 1 1 children: Jestus, Tim, 


Ed, Boke, Bertha, Sevey, and four children 
who died in their youth (Mittie, Excellent, 
Samuel and Daisy.) 

Jestus taught school for a while, but real- 
ized that since the length of the school year 
was only three months he could not support 
his family like this. Therefore, he farmed and 
was paid for being the secretary-treasurer of 
Grand United Order of Salem. He died in 
1961 at the age of 87. 

Tim was a preacher and was one of the best 
painters in the area. He died in 1956 at age 78. 

Boke farmed and sold wood for heating and 
cooking. He died in 1945 at age 56. 

Ed farmed and helped other people on their 
farms. He died at age 78 in 1 962. 

Vent repaired shoes on Boney Street and 
lived until 1960, age 71. 

Bertha lived in Wilmington, where she was 
a respected church worker. 

Sevey lived in Winston-Salem where she 
taught school for over 40 years. She died in 
1976 at age 82. 

Isaac M. Powers built a house around 1 890 
on Route 1 , Wallace, near Duplin Forks. Part 
of it is still standing after being partly 
destroyed while being restored. He never lost 
any of his land because of taxes or mortgages. 

Issac M. Powers has hundreds of descen- 
dants. His descendants know that because of 
the hard work and teachings of Isaac, they 
were able to get an education. They also know 
that hard work and honesty will have its 
reward, no matter what adversity confronts 
them. Submitted by H.C. Powers 


Approximately 100 precious acres of land 
in Smith Township at Rt. 2, Pink Hill is labo- 
riously tended by me. (It is located in the area 
that was known as Leon in the early 1 900's). 

I received this land from my grandmother, 
Josephine Smith Stroud, in 1962. (Her only 
child, Water James Stroud, was living on a 
farm he had inherited from his father). 

My grandmother was the great grand- 
daughter of Frederick Smith to whom the 
land was granted in 1 784. 

As the land was passed down from Freder- 
ick to his son, Zacheus, in 1812, then on to his 
son Ivey in 1 865, and then to my grandmother 
Josephine in 1 898, it was divided many times 
and much of it was sold. (The men married 
young women late in life and had big fami- 
lies). To the best of my knowledge there are 
only three heirs still farming land that 
belonged to the original tract. 

I raise soybeans, corn and tobacco on my 
farm. And situated right in the middle of one 
of my biggest fields is a familiar sight on many 
old farms — a cemetery. Its marble head- 
stones stand majestically against the cold 
wind, the scorching heat- and the torrential 
rains without ever wavering, just as those bur- 
ied there did. 

The epitaphs, carefully chosen for each 
marker, give me a glimpse of the character my 
ancestors possessed. To me, the cemetery, the 
epitaphs and the marble stones are a tiny link 
to the past and knowing the hardships my 
ancestors endured while grubbing a living 
from this soil, gives me the extra stamina it 
takes to hold onto what is fast becoming 
extinct — the small family farm. 

Submitted by Jimmy Wayne Stroud 


The Stokes farm is located one mile north- 
east of the historic town of Kenansville, off 
Highway 1 1 and on State Road 1 378. 

Florence S. Currie (right) and daughter. Florence C. 

Robert J. Stokes was born in 1831. At an 
early age he helped the family become self- 
sustaining by tilling the soil, getting fish from 
Wilmington for fertilizer, and planting and 
harvesting crops that were grown during that 
era. He purchased 53 acres of land. A "Deed 
of Gift" from D.C. Churchwell in 1877 gave 
him 22 acres. He purchased 40 acres from 
J.O. Bryan in 1883. 

Robert J. Stokes and his wife had one son, 
James W. Stokes, and three daughters. He 
gave his son 53 acres of land in 1887. When 
R.J. Stokes died in 1 890, his property was left 
to his wife and children. James W. Stokes was 
born in 1862, and his wife was Cora 
McGowen Stokes. They had one son, James 
Oliver Stokes, and one daughter, Florence 
McGowen Stokes. 

James W. Stokes was a hard working man. 
When he purchased the land from his sisters, 
he acquired about 450 acres on which he grew 
cotton, corn, tobacco, asparagus, potatoes, 
other vegetables, grapes, fruit trees, pecan 
and walnut trees. He also had cattle, hogs and 

James W. Stokes died in 1925 leaving the 
property to his wife. Upon the wife's death in 
1933, the property was divided between 
James Oliver Stokes and Florence Stokes. 
When James Oliver Stokes died in 1961, his 
property was divided between his wife and 
their one daughter, Dianne Stokes. His wife 
sold his farm, but Florence Stokes has kept 
her property, and it has been continuously 
farmed. She grows corn, tobacco and soy- 
beans. Florence Stokes Currie wills her farm 
to her daughter, Florence Taylor, who plans 
to continue to keep the farm until her death. 

Submitted by Florence Currie 


In the early 1700s our first Scotch-Irish 
ancestor came to America. He supposedly 
landed in the Wilmington area and traveled 
up to what is now Duplin County. 

In 1735, Henry McCullock was granted 
land in the Colonial Province of North Caro- 
lina; from this grant our farm became a reality 
and he was able to make land available to set- 

This farm is located on Highway 41, 
approximately six miles west of Wallace. 
Named Williamsdale Farms, it is noted for its 


The Williams farm in 1897. Both the old house and 
the present house are shown. Pictured are: Tommie, 
Stokes, Grandma Lucinda, Ben, Minnie, James and 

long entrance lane and lovely flowers. Cotton, 
corn, grain, strawberries and tobacco were 
always raised there. Enhanced by Rockfish 
Creek, a good portion of the land is also used 
to grow timber. 

Until I came into possession, there had 
always been a Williams to live on Williams- 
dale Farms. 

The earliest record shows that Joseph Wil- 
liams was born on this farm in 1735 (second 
generation). Succeeding generations are: his 
son, Aaron; his son, Stephen; his daughter, 
Jane; her son, Samuel Anderson (my grandfa- 
ther); his son, Daniel Stokes (my father); his 
daughter, Mary Lou (married Henry C. Carr); 
and their daughters, Eleanor Stokes Carr 
Boyd and Frances Sprunt Carr Parker who 
are next heirs. Mary Lou is the seventh gener- 
ation to own the farm, and the first "girl" to 
own it since 1735. 

After my father's death, my husband, Hen- 
ry C. Carr, established a dairy using Holstein 
cows. This operation ran for many years as a 
most successful business to compliment the 
other farming interest. The dairy was closed 
in the 80s due to labor situations. 

The present tenants, Mr. and Mrs. John W. 
Marks, do a fine job of maintaining the 496 
acres. Submitted by Mary Lou Williams Carr 

Durham County 


At the present time I am 9 1 years old, born 
April 11,1 896, own and reside on six acres of 
the original 1 400 acres of farmland purchased 
by my grandfather, Anison Green Ferrell, 
known as A.G. Ferrell in 1 937. He purchased 
the land at age 2 1 and died June, 1 9 1 3 at age 
97. This land, in 1837, was located in Wake 
County on the northeast side of the Neuse 
River. At his death, 97 acres was inherited by 
my mother and his daughter, Rebecca Adilad 
Ferrell. She was born May, 1852 and died 
February, 1 932 at age 80. She was married to 
George William Husketh, known as Genadis 
Husketh. At her death I inherited 20 acres of 
which I now own six acres that are located in 
Durham County northeast of the Neuse River 
on Shaw Road off Creek Road making the 
property 138 years old. During these years the 
primary agricultural products were corn, 
grain and tobacco. We raised our own live- 
stock and always had our own homegrown 

Submitted by Mary Mattie Husketh Coley 

Note: Mary Mattie Husketh Coley died 
February 19, 1988. However, this farm still 

Duplin — Durham — Edgecombe 

remains in her family. Mrs. Coley deeded the 
farm to Greta Coley Inscoe at her death. 

Submitted by Greta Coley Insco 


The first Evans to arrive in America was a 
John Evans who was in Lane's Group, the 
group after The Lost Colony. This is docu- 
mented in the book "The First Colonists, 
Documents on the Planting of the First 
English Settlement in North America 1584- 

According to the North Carolina Archives 
and to some old land grants found in grand- 
mother's (Martha Evans Silverthorne) trunk, 
our family got a land grant in the 1 700s to the 
present land that the family now occupies. 
There have been nine generations to pass this 
land down to the present generation. Of 
course the farm is not as large as it once was 
because through the years each generation 
gave land to each child or sold some land. 

The old house which still stands weathered 
many storms and many wars. One of the most 
interesting stories that was passed down to us 
was one about our uncle Reuben. When he 
was about 12 years old, the Civil War was 
being fought. Some Yankees came through 
camping near the old homeplace, taking our 
good horses and leaving their tired, worn out 
ones. They also took Uncle Reuben's peanuts 
that he had raised. He was more upset about 
his peanuts than he was about the other valu- 
ables taken from the house. He was so mad 
that he marched down to their camp, request- 
ing to see their leader, whom he saw. He told 
the leader that his men were not gentlemen, 
nor were they honest because they had stolen 
his peanuts. After hearing the boy's story, the 
officer made his men apologize and return the 
child's peanuts. 

Uncle Reuben was a gentleman farmer who 
farmed and took care of business. At one time 
the attic was filled with his law books as well 
as many other books. 

Submitted by Barbara J. Simko and Edna S. Page 

Edgecombe County 


Douglas W. Braswell owns 68 acres in Wil- 
son County that go as far back as his father's 
grandfather, perhaps more than that. Doug- 
las's dad, Carl Braswell, was born in 1 892. His 
mother, Nancy Dawes, was willed the land by 
her father, Wells Dawson. 

There is an old pond site on the premises 
that had the dam cut away by Douglas' grand- 
father in the early 1900s as it was thought it 
was the cause of "pond fever." This land is 
located near Town Creek in the Tricmont 
Township. Submitted by Douglas W. Braswell 


William Spiral Crisp, born November 22, 
1838, purchased this farm on February 8, 
1870, from Joshua Killebrew, both being 
from Edgecombe County of the state of North 
Carolina for $1300. 

The original farm lies on both sides of the 
road from Eagles to Otters Creek and consist- 
ed of 1 60 more or less acres. 

William S. Crisp had 2 1 children by three 
different wives. He died on March 1, 1909, 
and his estate was settled on September 1 9, 
1912 with over 1300 acres of farmland. Wil- 
liam Crisp was a very important individual, 
according to courthouse records, in which he 
loaned money to local merchants and farm- 
ers. He was a trustee of Edgecombe High 
School located in Crisp, North Carolina, the 
latter which bears his name. 

The farm passed to Elizabeth Cobb, his 
daughter, in 1912, who married James Gray 
Cobb. Elizabeth Cobb died on December 24, 
1914. The farm was held in trust for her chil- 
dren by James Gray Cobb. The children 
received their share in 1962 after his death 
which was in 1958. William Ernest Cobb 
received his share and bought his brother and 
sister's share. He died on July 26, 1968, and 
the farm passed to his wife, Mrs. Lucille Lewis 
Cobb, who is the present owner. 

The original house still stands on the prop- 
erty and is owned by one of the great- 
granddaughters of William S. Crisp, Mrs. 

Ernestine Cobb Webb. There is only one 
additional building left today which is a pack- 
house in very good condition. Of the 33 acre 
farm three and one-half acres are tobacco, one 
and one-half acres is peanuts and twenty-two 
acres are corn. 

The farm is now being rented by another 
great-granddaughter, Mrs. Betsy Cobb Evans 
and husband Howard. Submitted by Lucy Cobb 


In 1859 Nathaniel Gay purchased land in 
the western section of Edgecombe County. 
Along with farming Nathaniel was an expert 
cabinet and furniture maker. One of his spe- 
cialties was making coffins. His daughter-in- 
law, Anzie Lanie Proctor Gay, helped him 
with stitching the white bleached cloth that 
lined the inside. 

Gay homeplace. 

In the early 1850s he handcrafted a cradle 
for his first born. The cradle was put together 
with wooden pegs and rope. The little cradle 
has been preserved and is still being used. 
Melanie Ann Gay, great-great-great grand- 
daughter of Nathaniel Gay slept in the little 
antique cradle as an infant. 

In 1 894 the land was passed on to Nathan- 
iel's son, Fenner Gay and his family. Fenner 
was the father of six sons and four daughters. 
He taught the children to carry on the farm 
work while he did other things such as being a 
rural mail carrier and constable. He helped 
out with the polls on election days, the polling 
place being at the crossroads on the Gay land. 
After Fenner's death in 1913, his wife, Anzie 
Lanie Proctor Gay held onto the farm with 
the help of family members. In 1919, her son, 
Luther Albert Gay, returned to operate the 
farm for his mother. His mother wanted to 
move to town, so Luther settled in the farm 

In 1 922 Luther asked to purchase the farm- 
land from his mother and family. They all 
agreed for him to buy the land as he was the 
only one of the ten children interested in 
farming. As the years passed on, Luther 
bought more land to add to the original farm. 
Luther raised livestock in addition to the usu- 
al farm crops. He also had a general merchan- 
dise store that he operated for a number of 
years. Luther's grandson, Edward Earl Gay, 
operates the same store today. 

Luther passed away in 1970 and left the 
land to his wife Lizzie Ruth Lancaster Gay 
and his three children, Edna Ruth Gay Wood, 
Luther Albert Gay, Jr. and Elizabeth Lancas- 
ter Gay Adams. Lizzie and Edna still reside in 
the original homeplace. Albert carries on the 
family farm operation. Submitted by Lizzie Gay 


A land grant from the King of England was 
given to three brothers, Robert, Henry and 
Benjamin Lancaster. This land was located in 
the area of what is now known as Temperance 
Hall Road in Edgecombe County. 

As best as can be determined, the parcel 
known as the John Lancaster place has been 
passed down in the Lancaster family ever 
since. It is believed Henry was the father of 
Jesse Lancaster. The 1850 census lists Jesse 
and Prudence Lancaster as being born 1793 
and 1 800 respectively. These were the parents 
of David who fathered John Calley Lancaster 
who fathered Maggie who was the mother of 
Walter Thomas Lancaster who was the father 
of me, Dorothy Lancaster Braswell who pres- 
ently owns this parcel. 

Jessee, Prudence, David, John Calley and 
Maggie are buried on adjacent land. There is 
an old house standing on this land that seems 
to have two rooms and a hall covered with a 
wooden shingle roof and of course the con- 
struction was pegged together. It appears 
more room was added later. A portion of 
brick was found in the chimney when remod- 
eling that reads July 1713. There are 1 2 acres 
of land in this parcel now. 

Submitted by Dorothy Lancaster Braswell 


The Century Farm of Oliver Powell is a 
small tract of about 500 acres acquired by 
William Powell born February 29,1810. The 
census of 1790 reveals that a Daniel Powell 
owned land and lived beside the Penders. 
When William Powell's grandson was born 
on January 3, 1861, he was named Daniel. 
Further, William Powell's first wife was Sally 
Johnston. After Sally died in 1864, William 
married Rosa Boone (widow) and justice of 
the peace L.C. Pender officiated. 

William Powell acquired his land in several 
purchases. In 1833 he purchased 107 acres 
from Lemon Ruffin, in 1 837 he purchased 40 
acres from James F. Jenkins; in 1 844 he pur- 
chased 300 acres from Solomon Braswell; in 
1 846 he purchased five additional acres from 
Lemon Ruffin and 50 acres from Leonard 
Bullock; and in 1851 he purchased two acres 
from Orren Bullock. William collected and 
sold turpentine from long leaf pines on the 
land to pay for it. 

William died May 26, 1882, and his land 
was divided. One of his sons, Irwin, died of 
malaria during the Civil War and left no heirs. 
William's other son, Joseph, married Frances 
Braswell and they had one son, Daniel, and 
two daughters, Elizabeth and Josephine. 
Joseph was killed in the Civil War before Wil- 
liam died. 

William also had two daughters, Winnifred 
and Dolly, by his first marriage and two chil- 
dren, Mollie and Charlotte, by his second 

When William's land was divided, Daniel 
and his two sisters inherited their father's 
share. Daniel later bought his two sisters' 
shares. The share inherited by William's 
daughter, Mollie, was sold after she died and 
was purchased by the Tolston family. Richard 
Tolston married Daniel's second age daugh- 
ter, Claudia, and that land remains in the pos- 
session of Tolston descendants of William 

William Powell's daughter, Charlotte, mar- 
ried R.G. Flye but she died before William 
did. When her family inherited her share of 
William's land, Daniel purchased it from 
them. Daniel also purchased his Aunt Winni- 
fred's share which lay beside his father's 
share. William's daughter, Dolly, married 
Alsey Wright Proctor and they had five chil- 
dren. When their estate was settled, Dolly's 
daughter, Sallie Anne, and her husband, New- 
some Braswell, bought Dolly's share of the 
William Powell lands. Almost all of that share 
is still in possession of Dolly Powell's descen- 
dants — Braswells and Brakes. 

Daniel married Sallie Anne Proctor and 
they had nine children whom they named in 
alphabetical order: Ada Belinda (Cummings), 
Claudia Dorinda (Tolston), Effie Fostina 
(Joyner), Gertha Hellen (Goff), Ivey Joseph, 
Katie Luelnor (Harper), Marion Napoleon, 
Oliver Pervis, and Queen Ruby (Goff). 

After Daniel died on September 21, 1947, 
his land was divided among his nine children. 
Ada, Hellen, Kate, and Ruby inherited the 
Braswell land which Daniel had inherited 
from his mother's family. Ruby and her hus- 
band, Mark Goff bought Kate's share and 
Hellen and her husband, Ernest Goff, bought 
Ada's share. 

Claudia and Effie inherited the Flye tract 
beside Claudia and Richard Tolston's pur- 
chased part, and the one-half of that tract next 
to their home was Claudia's and it is still in 
the family. Effie later sold her share to Joe 
Brake, great-grandson of Dolly Powell Proc- 

Daniel's three sons, Ivey, Marion, and Oli- 
ver inherited the Daniel Powell homeplace 
and the land has since descended to their chil- 
dren. Oliver Pervis Powell got the home with 
40 acres but he died January 12, 1983, and 
that tract is now owned by Oliver's two sons, 
George Allen Powell and Oliver Curtis Pow- 
ell. Curtis has deeded his undivided interest 
to his four children, Susanna Powell Warner, 
Kenneth K. Powell, Kevin S. Powell and 
Sinderella Powell Davis, but he retains a life 
time remainder interest to live on and use the 

All but about 10 acres of William Powell's 
500 acres still remains in the possession of his 
descendants more than 1 50 years after his 
first purchase in 1833. 

Submitted by O.C. Powell 


In 1846, in his last will and testament, 
Augustus Whitehead of Edgecombe County, 
left his daughter, Prudence Whitehead, 313 
acres of land in Edgecombe County. Pru- 

The Lancaster homeplace on the Resico farm, Edge- 
combe County. 


dence was married to Jesse Lancaster. This 
marriage produced four sons: William, 
David. Dorsey and Robert Lancaster. In his 
will, Augustus Whitehead stated that at the 
death of his daughter, Prudence, the land be 
divided among his four grandsons. 

At the death of his mother, David Warren 
Lancaster acquired what is now known as the 
homeplace. This was on November 23, 1 869. 

In 1 898. at the death of David Warren Lan- 
caster, the homeplace was passed on to James 
Wiley Lancaster, his son. 

James Wiley Lancaster and his wife had 
five daughters: Pearl, Lizzie, Josie Ophelia, 
Adelia and Celia Gray. At his death in 1927, 
the homeplace was inherited by Celia Gray 
Lancaster Lanier, the youngest daughter. 
Celia Gray was married to Joe Selma Lanier. 
In 1960 at the death of Celia Gray, Joe Selma 
Lamer became owner of the farm. 

In 1 966. at the death of Joe S. Lanier, Irma 
Lanier Resico, daughter of Joe S. and Celia 
Gray Lanier, became heir to the farm. She is 
now the present owner. 

This farm has been engaged in farming con- 
tinuously, since and before the death of 
Augustus Whitehead. 

Submitted by Irma L. Resico 


This farm and homeplace came into the 
Weaver family in 1 876 and since that time has 
produced tobacco, cotton, and corn. 


v sot * C 

The homeplace of the Weavers. It came into the 
Weaver family in 1876. The house was originally 
two rooms across the front with a shingle roof. 

The homeplace and smokehouse date back 
to around 1 876 or before. The house was orgi- 
nally two rooms across the front with a wood 
shingle roof. It also has sills that were hewed 
with an ax and pegged together. 

A family history of the Weaver and Gay 
book dated 1 769-1988 can be seen in the Wil- 
son, Tarboro, and Rocky Mount libraries. 

Submitted by D.O. Simmons 


Records show Daniel R. Taylor, seventh 
generation Taylor, owns a 190 acre farm in 
Edgecombe County inherited in 1916 from 
his father, William A. Taylor, Jr. The farm is 
part of a land grant from the Earl of Granville 
to Joseph Taylor, first generation. 

After the death of Daniel's father, he was 
age nine, moved off the farm to live with his 
legal guardian, M.O. Blount of Bethel, North 
Carolina. His mother died earlier and he had 
no living brothers or sisters. During his early 
school years he performed various types of 
work on the farm as well as in the store. He 

T- * J* » A 

Quilt made by Daniel Taylor's mother in 1903. 

also helped to construct the Methodist 

Daniel graduated from USMC, West Point, 
New York in 1930 and he served in the U.S. 
Army until 1951. He retired with a partial 
physical disability. During World War II, 
Daniel was a 5th Division Supply Officer 
serving in Iceland, England, Northern Ireland 
and with Patton's Third Army throughout the 

After retirement, Daniel became his own 
farm operator. In 1 93 1 , he married Effie Mae 
Winslow of Greenville, North Carolina. They 
have three daughters, one son and ten grand- 

The only historic building left is one small 
eight-by-eight corn crib with hand-hewn 
sleepers. The family home burned, and other 
buildings have deteriorated. A trunk was 
saved, containing quilts made by his mother 
as well as his father's handbag containing 
farm records and other artifacts. 

In the Civil War, Uncle Kenneth Taylor 
was a member of General Stonewall Jackson's 
bodyguard. When returning to camp at Chan- 
cellorsville, Virginia, the party was fired on by 
mistake, and Jackson, Kenneth and others 
were killed. 

Daniel's grandmother and a few others 
took a wagon to Chancellorsville to return her 
son's body so it could be buried in the farm 
family plot. \ Submitted by Daniel R. Taylor 


Present owners of the Thomas Farm in 
Edgecombe County not only share ownership 
of land, but also share a wedding date one 
hundred years apart! 

A tobacco field on the Thomas farm in Edgecombe 

Oscar Bennett Porter, Jr. (1924- ) married 
Joyce Evelyn Thomas (1927- ) on September 

7, 1 947. Elisha Thomas (1818-1891) married 
Martha Susan Ruffin (1827-1908) on Sep- 
tember 7, 1847. 

Today, great-great grandson, Thomas 
Alford Porter (1964), and wife, Cathy Goff 
(1964), live in the house that Elisha built for 
his family. The place to which he returned 
after serving in Company F, 40th N.C. Artil- 
lery, CSA. The Porter children, Betsy, Char- 
lie, Margaret and younger brother, Tom, grew 
up, rode their ponies and horses, hunted in 
the woods, and were nurtured here much as 
were their many forbearers. 

According to records, Philip Thomas, son 
of Philip and Ann Thomas of Bertie County, 
North Carolina was born about 1 730. He first 
bought acreage in Edgecombe County in 1 756 
and added to it as the years passed. One of his 
sons, Jacob, had a son, Wilson (1786-1850), 
who married Nancy Proctor. Their son, Eli- 
sha, is the great-grandfather of the present 
owner. When Elisha returned from the Civil 
War to the home that he had built for his fami- 
ly, neither his son, Rufus, nor his son, George 
(1866-1946) had been born. Both of these 
sons owned the farm during their working 

George Thomas and Dililla Ann Mears' 
(1868-1958) sons, Elisha and Rufus, worked 
this farm, sold tractors and were tobacco 
curers to support their families. 

Rufus Alford Thomas ( 1 903- 1 98 1 ) married 
Jessie Irene Bullock (1906-1986). During 
World War II Rufus added peanuts to the 
corn, soybeans, wheat and tobacco that had 
been cultivated for the 230 years that this 
farm has been operating. Their daughter, 
Joyce, and her family are the present owners 
of the farm. 

Now the Porter grandchildren enjoy riding 
the horses and playing in the fields while 
great-great-grandparents Elisha and Susan 
sleep in the family cemetery. 

Submitted by Cathy Goff Porter 


Three generations of Worsleys have owned 
Ballahac land in Edgecombe County. 

This house is on the 406 acres of Worsley land. 

Arnold Worsley and William Bryant pur- 
chased 57 acres on Ballahac Canal in 1874. 
Arnold Worsley later purchased Bryant's one- 
half interest. 

In 1907 Arnold bought another twelve and 
one-half acres next to the fifty-seven acres. 

Nathan Arnold Worsley, Sr. became owner 
of the land at the death of his father Arnold 
Worsley in 1921. 

In 1 926 Nathan Arnold purchased an addi- 
tional 406 acres two miles from the Ballahac 


land. This 406 acres was part of a 900+ acre 
tract owned by Little Berry Worsley, his 

Nathan Arnold died in 1959 leaving the 
475 acres to his heirs. 

James Cecil (son of Nathan Arnold and 
grandson of Arnold) bought the 475 acres 
from the heirs in 1 975. James Cecil has since 
purchased 2 1 5 acres from adjoining farms. 

James has farmed this land since 1956. 
Crops grown are tobacco, peanuts, corn, soy- 
beans, wheat and other small grains. 

James has a son, James Cecil, Jr., to carry 
the Worsley ownership in the future. 
Submitted by James C. and Josephine D. Worsley 

Forsyth County 


The original land deed was made to Chris- 
tian Conrad, and wife, Maria, on December 
10, 1778 from the state of North Carolina, 
signed by Governor Richard Caswell. At 
Christian's death, October 25, 1 84 1 , the land 
passed to his son, Johannes Conrad and his 
wife, Catherine. At the death of Johannes, the 
land passed to his son, Timothy Conrad and 
wife, Mary. At Timothy's death, the land 
passed to his son, Jeremiah Bahnson Conrad 
and wife, Melissa Stotlz on October 28, 1 884. 
At Jeremiah's death, February 18, 1916, the 
land passed to his daughter, Mabel Conrad 
Conrad and husband, Marvin W. Conrad. At 
Mabel's death on September 7, 1 982, the land 
was left to her son, Ned MacDonald Conrad. 
Ned restored the house and now lives there 
with wife, Betty F. Conrad. 

The Conrad home built in 1870. 

Jeremiah Bahnson Conrad built the home- 
place in 1870 that Ned and Betty have 
restored. Most of the original outbuildings are 
gone now. Ned's mother inherited the home- 
place and 76 acres in 1916, and lived there 
until her death 95 years later. 

Submitted by Ned and Betty Conrad 


John Conrad, my great-great-grandfather, 
born 1778, owned a vast tract of land in 
Stokes County (now Forsyth County) from 
Glenn Ferry southward beyond Lewisville, 
North Carolina. In 1 807 "River John," as he 
was known, built his home "River View" on 
a parcel of land bought from William Wood- 
fork in 1802 in the county of Stokes, contain- 
ing 418.5 acres, and 15 acres of water in the 
Yadkin River so as to include a fish trap. 

Edgecombe — Forsyth 

"River View" still stands as sturdy in 1 988 
as when built. It is now owned and occupied 
by Mr. and Mrs. George Gwaltney, and is 
located on Conrad Road just off Old 42 1 near 
the Yadkin River. 

John Joseph Conrad, son of "River John" 
and my great-grandfather, had two sons, 
Augustus Eugene and William Alexander. My 
grandfather, William Alexander, inherited 
six hundred acres of the land. He was married 
to Eliza J. Springs of Charlotte, North Caroli- 
na. He was killed in the Civil War in 1 864. His 
widow remained at "River View" managing 
the farm and raising her family of four chil- 

My father, Thomas J. Conrad, inherited 
two hundred acres of farmland in 1888 and 
farmed it until 1939. Prior to 1939 the farm 
was used as general farming. In 1 939 I added 
cattle, hogs and chickens on a moderate scale 
which gave us a means to build a modern 
home and a fairly well equipped farm. 

In 1 896 my father, Thomas J. Conrad, and 
Mary Elizabeth Brock were married. To this 
union were born four children, three surviv- 
ing. Wriston Brock Conrad became a dentist, 
a graduate of Atlanta Southern Dental Col- 
lege. He married and practiced dentistry in 
Orangeburg, South Carolina for fifty years. 
Beulah Conrad Summers, a graduate of Duke 
University, taught school in Forsyth and 
adjoining counties for twenty-five years. Both 
are deceased now. 

I, Richard Maxwell Conrad, was a member 
of the first graduating class of Vienna High 
School in 1923 in Forsyth County. I came 
back to farm in 1 930 and owner in 1 939. 

In 1940 I was married to Margaret Miller. 
For twenty-five years we kept a licensed foster 
home. Most of the twenty-four children came 
from Baptist orphanage at Thomasville, 
North Carolina. Some stayed only a short 
while, others much longer, and often come 
back for visits — always calling this "home." 
They are scattered from Anchorage, Alaska to 
Tokyo, Japan. 

This farm has been in continuous use and in 
the "Conrad" name for the past 200 years. 
There are no heirs to carry on the family tradi- 
tion. In just a matter of a few short years, it 
will probably be a housing project or a golf 

Old farms, like old people, they just fade 
away. Submitted by Richard M. Conrad 


According to family history, Doub families 
have owned and farmed an acreage located in 
Vienna Township, Forsyth County, North 
Carolina for many generations. 

The first member of the family of whom we 
have any record was born in Germany in 
1742. He emigrated from Switzerland to 
America, living a short time in Pennsylvania 
before coming to Stokes County (now For- 
syth) North Carolina. 

The exact time this farm was purchased is 
not recorded. However, we know Jacob Doub 
(fourth son) was born in 1 785. His son Daniel 
lived near the present homeplace and raised 
four sons. His fourth son inherited the home- 
place where he raised his family of nine chil- 

The first house that there are pictures of 
was a wooden structure with a kitchen not 
connected to the living quarters. This house 
was occupied until 1907 when a new two- 
story house was built nearby. 

This farm is very productive where the 
open land is used, but there are "hills and hol- 
lows" in the wooded areas. At one time tobac- 
co was the money crop along with grain, soy- 
beans, etc. There were always dairy cows, 
chickens and turkeys raised for food and for 
sale. To add to the family income, strawber- 
ries and fruit trees were an important asset. 

In the last 40 years another modern ranch 
type home replaced the one built in 1907. 
Oscar Doub purchased the farm from other 
heirs in the early forties and raised Hereford 
beef cattle along with raising grain and gener- 
al farming. He also built houses and got 
involved in the chicken business with baby 
chicks and then layers. Eggs were sold to local 
stores and individuals. This business was very 
time consuming but profitable until more 
farmers decided to get in on this business and 
the market was flooded. 

Oscar continued to farm on a smaller scale 
with more gardening after his retirement 
years and later rented the open land to other 
farmers that were better equipped. After his 
death in 1972, the farm was rented to large 
farmers with modern equipment. 

I live on the farm and enjoy seeing the fields 
in various crops each season. It is a great life! 
My son and grandson will have an opportuni- 
ty to enjoy happy days here also. 

Submitted by Gladys C. Doub 


Gottfried Grabs was born in Germany in 
1716 and came to Pennsylvania with his 
Moravian parents. After his marriage, he 
moved his family to the Moravian settlement 

The Doub homeplace, built in 1907, is typical for its 

Susan H. Petree, David and Karen Petree, her 
grandchildren, in May 1987. 


in Bethabara, North Carolina (Forsyth Coun- 
ty) in 1 759. He was a farmer, shoemaker and 
one of the founders of Bethania Moravian 
Church at Bethania, North Carolina. 

His son, John Gottfried Grabs, born in 
1798, moved his family in 1829, seven miles 
north of Bethania to a tract of land on Crook- 
ed Run Creek in Stokes County. He was a far- 
mer and blacksmith and raised corn, wheat, 
flax and tobacco. 

Lewis Edwin Grabs, John's son, born in 
1820, inherited a tract of this land at his 
father's death in 1 89 1 . He continued to farm 
and also farmed the two tracts of his brother, 
John Soloman Grabs, and his sister, Julina 
Grabs Spainhour. 

L.E. Grab's son, Lazarus Shore Grabs, had 
nine children and lived in King, North Caroli- 
na. His daughter, Hattie Grabs Hunter, and 
her husband, Charlie E. Hunter, moved to the 
L.E. Grabs farm to take care of Mrs. L.E. 
Grabs, Hattie's grandmother, and to continue 
farming the land in 1911. While there, they 
bought the tracts of Julina G. Spainhour and 
John Grabs, Hattie's uncle and aunt. These 
tracts are the century farm land and have been 
in the Grabs family 1 58 years. 

After her husband's death in 1950, Hattie 
Grabs Hunter continued the farming opera- 
tion and had loblolly pines planted on one 
Grabs tract in 1 968. She deeded the two tracts 
(170 acres) to her daughter, Susan Hunter 
Petree in 1973. Corn, wheat and tobacco are 
presently grown on the farm. The Grabs tracts 
will be passed on to her son, David Hoke 
Petree, Jr. in the future. 

The present entire farm, including the 
Grabs tracts, consists of 270 acres and is 
located on Spainhour Mill Road, Tobaccovil- 
le, North Carolina. 

Submitted by Susan H. Petree 


Peter Pfaff, Sr. was born June 24, 1727 at 
Kaiserlauten, Palatinate; died January 22, 
1 804 in Pfaff s settlement, Stokes County. He 
married in 1750 in Yorktown (now called 
York), Pennsylvania, Anna Walberger Ker- 
ber, born December 26, 1734, Lancaster, 
Pennsylvania; died November 9, 1 774, Fried- 
berg settlement. 

They had six children and their sixth child 
was Peter, Jr. He was born January 27, 1 773, 
Friedberg, North Carolina; died June 22, 
1865. He married in 1802, Anna Magdalena 
Conrad, born November 20, 1 782; died Sep- 
tember 25, 1863, buried at Bethania. 

They had nine children. The sixth child was 
Philipp Heinrich. He was born January 18, 
1815, Pfafftown, and married Melinda Stock- 

They owned the land that is now the Pfaff 
farm located in the northwest of Forsyth 
County with the Muddy Creek as the east 

Philipp Heinrich and Melinda had three 
sons. They had a small cabin now located 
behind the old Boose house on Hilltop Drive. 
Flavius Nathanael born October 4, 1849, 
built a two-story cabin up the road from 
Philipp Heinrich and Melinda. Flavius 
Nathanael was married to Katherine Lein- 
back. The first son of Philipp was Artenius 
Eusebius born June 6, 1 847, married to Neva- 
da Banner. Artenius bought the two-story 

Forsyth — Franklin 
cabin and land from his two brothers, Flavius 
Nathanael and Philip Gideon. 

Artenius and Nevada had six children. 
Their only son, William Luther Pfaff, bought 
the farm and house from his sisters after his 
father, Artenius, died January 15, 1903. Wil- 
liam Luther, born September 3, 1878; died 
September 7, 1 962. He was married to Fannie 
Elizabeth Ziglar born April 8, 1882; died 
October 15, 1973. They had ten children. 

The second child, Frederick Artenius, 
bought out his brothers and sisters. Frederick 
Arentius was born August 14, 1905; died May 
12, 1964. He married Mary Pauline Conrad 
Pfaff. They had five children. 

The youngest, Faye Artenius Pfaff Burns, 
born January 25, 1953. Faye is married to 
Byran Anderson Burns born September 7, 
1951. They have three children: Andrea 
Christina Burns born April 3, 1972; Nancy 
Kathleen Burns, born November 10, 1978; 
and Paul Anderson Burns, born December 9, 
1984. They are the fifth generation living in 
the farmhouse. 

This land and house have always been full 
of life and love. Every generation raised their 
main food, such as corn, oats, wheat and gar- 
den vegetables. It was in about 1 954 they had 
the last dairy cow. After that they had their 
milk delivered. Faye's father, Fred worked in 
town at McLeans Trucking Co. 

Faye's brother, Charles Franklin Pfaff, Sr., 
took over the care of the farm when their 
father died. Charles was born May 9, 1933, 
and died April 22, 1986. Up until his death, 
he planted large gardens of vegetables. He 
would plant at least 200 pounds of potatoes to 
feed much of the family. He was married to 
Dixie Dawn Church, born November 5, 1 937. 
They had three children. 

Mary Pauline Conrad Pfaff lives in the 
house with Faye, Bryan and their three chil- 
dren. She has lived here since she got married 
at seventeen for all but the five years that she 
and Fred lived in Richmond, Virginia with 
the three eldest children. 

Now the farm is still providing some vege- 
tables and a lot of pleasure to us all. We love 
living here with our happy memories and look 
forward to many more happy and loving years 
for us and future generations. 

Submitted by Faye P. Burns 

Franklin County 


Only three generations span 145 years of 
ownership of the Baker farm in the Mapleville 

This smokehouse, built around 1843, is still in use 
for curing pork meat in 1988. It was built with logs, 
pegs, wooden door hinges and wood shingles. 

Community of Franklin County, near Louis- 
burg, North Carolina. 

The original owner, Marshall Baker ( 1 798- 
1879) was from a family that had lived in 
Franklin County for nearly 100 years. Mar- 
shall's grandfather, William Baker, came 
from Nansemond County, Virginia, and was 
among the earliest settlers of the area. Wil- 
liam left land to Marshall's father, James 
Baker, in 1777. James gave land on Cedar 
Creek to Marshall as his "just inheritance" in 

Marshall evidently sold the land he 
obtained from his father and purchased the 
274 acre farm in the Mapleville Community 
for $825 in 1843. Marshall, Elizabeth May, 
his wife, and seven of their nine children 
moved to a one-room cabin on the farm. They 
built a two-story colonial home on the farm 
shortly after moving there. 

Marshall had only three sons and each 
served in the Civil War. William M. received 
a medical discharge in 1 863 and died in 1 867. 
After one month of service in 1862, James 
Maynard died of a disease in Richmond. 
Archibald served as a messenger boy during 
the last part of the war, and he was the only 
surviving male child of Marshall Baker. 
Archibald and the four daughters who never 
married inherited Marshall's land. Marshall's 
four daughters willed their share of the land to 
Archibald's children. 

In 1895 Archibald married Zenobia Gard- 
ner when he was 50 and she was 1 8 years old. 
He and Zenobia lived in the original home 
with the four old-maid sisters until their 
death. The original house burned November 
6, 1921 and a replacement home was built by 
the neighbors. Zenobia G. Baker and the chil- 
dren were responsible for the farm during 
Archibald's old age and after his death until 
Zenobia retired in the 1930's. Maynard G. 
Baker inherited the homeplace and pur- 
chased the shares of two of his sisters to form 
a farm of 84 acres. Maynard married Mary 
Neal in 1935, and they have managed and 
worked the tobacco, general crop and live- 
stock farm since then. The part owned by 
Maynard and Mary Baker plus a share owned 
by one of his sisters has been in the Baker fam- 
ily since 1843. 

The original smokehouse (with wooden 
hinges), the original packhouse and the chim- 
ney to the old kitchen house are still standing 
on the original farm homestead. Stair steps 
from the original log cabin are still used in the 
packhouse. Submitted by Maynard G. Baker 


My grandfather, James Henry Conyers, 
was born January 23, 1 854 to Thomas Henry 
and Sarah Winston Conyers on a farm located 
3.5 miles northeast of Franklinton, North 
Carolina. After losing his mother at a very 
early age and his father remarrying, young 
James Henry "Jimmy" Conyers left home at 
age 2 1 to take on his own responsibilities and 
to buy a farm. 

In 1881 he purchsed a farm that was origi- 
nally owned by Dr. B.T. Green, a country doc- 
tor. James Henry Conyers borrowed part of 
the money to buy the farm from C.H. Sand- 
ling and wife, Rebecca J. Sandling. At the age 
of 24 he was married to Swannie Beachum, 
the daughter of a Baptist minister. Jimmy and 
Swannie, along with their family (ten boys 


The James Henry "Jimmy" Conyers family and 

and a girl) continued to raise grain and cotton. 
Some years later he purchased 65 acres known 
as the Jim Holden farm which adjoined his 
farm, but later it was sold to the George Per- 
gerson family due to the high taxes in the area. 

In August 1929 James Henry Conyers 
passed away and when the estate was settled a 
son, Hayward Ballard Conyers, received a 
share of the farm and bought the remaining 
shares and continued to farm until 1957. 

After my father's retirement in 1957 the 
land was farmed by me (J. Howard Conyers) 
and shared by my father. The crops consisted 
of corn, soybeans, tobacco and cotton. This 
was done not by mules and walking plows, but 
with more modern equipment. 

My father passed away in October 1 986 at 
the age of 93. At his death I became the owner 
of the original 1 00. 5 acres. I am still interested 
in farming and grain crops are being planted 
on the farm. 

I am proud to be a descendant of farmers 
and to be a member of the Century Farm 
Family of North Carolina. 

Submitted by J. Howard Conyers 


Berry P. Holden of Youngsville, North 
Carolina, owns and resides on land that was 
purchased August 5, 1834 by his great-great- 
great-grandfather Isham Holden. The tract 
bought in 1 834 was 294 acres. In 1835 Isham 
bought an adjoining sixty acres. 

Grandma Holden and two of the Holden descen- 
dants in front of their home. 

In August of 1841 Isham conveyed this 
land to his son, Richard Holden, who had in 
October, 1840 married Charlotte Mitchell. It 
was on this land that Richard Holden, Sr. set- 
tled and built a home which still stands today. 

The home faces the old Oxford-Raleigh 
Stage Road, which is a few yards east of U.S. 
Highway #1. Richard and his descendants 


farmed the land, raised typical area products 
and farm animals. He began to buy additional 
adjoining land which was in the vicinity of 
Richland Creek and the old Hillsboro- 
Tarboro Stage Road which intersected the 
Oxford Road. By 1 860 Richard owned nearly 
1000 acres of land. He and his wife had six 
children who in later years inherited divisions 
of the Holden farmland. 

Berry P. Holden, the great-great-grandson 
of Isham, lived in the family ancestral home 
for many years and still uses it for special 
occasions. However, he and his wife, Bertha, 
now reside in a brick home close by. Basically, 
the old home is still the original structure, 
although it has been remodeled some by B.P. 
Mr. Holden owns some of the original hand- 
written deeds to his property. 

In the early part of this century, B.P. Hold- 
en's father, also named Berry Holden, hosted 
traditional fox hunts on his farm. There were 
also hunts for other animals. We still hear a 
story about a Youngsville fellow who became 
so excited in a fox hunt that he drove his old 
mule so hard, he was never the same again. 

A good many years ago ( 1 964) B.P. and wife 
Bertha established "Holden's Barbecue" 
which is now a widely known landmark. The 
restaurant and barbecue equipment are locat- 
ed on U.S. #1 across from their home. For 
many years Mr. Holden raised all the hogs for 
the pork he barbecued. 

Mr. and Mrs. Holden are now of retirement 
age, but are still actively involved in the fami- 
ly business which includes several of their 
children who are married and live in the 
vicinity with their families. 

The B.P. Holden Farm now consists of 35 
acres. Shortly after the railroad was complet- 
ed through our area in 1840, Isham Holden 
bought 1 38 acres on both sides of the tracks. 

In May, 1 848, Mr. Holden sold this tract to 
James A. Spencer, a pioneer merchant along 
with Mr. John Young, Jr. who owned adjoin- 
ing land. In July of that same year of 1 848 the 
Post Office of Pacific was established in the 
northern part of Young land. The Holden- 
Young property line ran all the way through 
our community in the approximate vicinity 
of present Franklin Street. 

After Pacific grew, it was incorporated as 
The Town of Youngsville, in honor of Mr. 

To this day descendants of the Holdens, 
Youngs and other pioneer families remain 
active in this area. Submitted by BP. Holden 


On October 27, 1858, Mr. Festus Mit- 
chiner came from Johnston County to Frank- 
lin County and purchased 963 acres of land 
from Weldon E. Person. On September 13, 

The Mitchiner home, taken in 1977. 

1859 he purchased 120 acres of land from 
Weldon E. Person. On January 22, 1869 he 
purchased 326 acres of land from CM. 
Cooke. On March 1, 1869 he purchased 51.5 
acres from William A. Winston and wife, 
Mary E. Winston. On July 6, 1869 he pur- 
chased 50 acres of land from J.E. Tharrington 
and wife, Martha Tharrington. On October 
15, 1872 70 acres were purchased from E.T. 
Gill. On January 6, 1872 he purchased 50.5 
acres from John C. Winston. On December 
23, 1874 he purchased 1 3.5 acres from Robert 
E. Yarborough and wife, Sarah C. Yarbor- 
ough. All of these lands were used for the pur- 
pose of farming; major crops were cotton, 
tobacco, corn and other grain. 

A portion of this land was willed to his son, 
Reuben Samuel Mitchiner who willed por- 
tions to his children, one of which was Luther 
Walton Mitchiner and he willed 1 70 acres to 
his son, David Watson Mitchiner who is the 
current owner. Watson Mitchiner's sons, 
David Watson Mitchiner, Jr. and Wallace 
Oliver Mitchiner are the fifth generation to 
live on this farm. The farm is still used for 
farming of tobacco, corn and hay. 

The original house is on the farm but has 
had many changes added over the years and at 
the present no one lives in the house. The 
house was listed in the book by T.H. Pearce 
"Early Architecture of Franklin County." 

Submitted by D. U'atson Mitchiner 


This farm is very unique because there has 
been a child or grandchild living here since 
March 1 3, 1854. On this date Burgess Mullen 
purchased 103 acres of land 1 x h miles east of 
Bunn on RR 1609, the Tar River being the 
eastern line. Here he raised 21 children from 
four marriages (no divorces). 

This fruit bearing Keefer Pear tree is over 100 years 
old and is located at the original homeplace. 

Walter Mullen, father of Gladys Mullen 
(Scott), was from the last marriage to Berline 
Todd. He was also the last child to live on the 
farm. When he was well past 30 he married 

Franklin — Gaston 

Viola Lewis from Nash County. They had 
three girls, Mavis, Gladys and Ruby. 

Before my father Walter became ill from a 
stroke, the oldest daughter, Mavis moved 
back and built a home on the farm and contin- 
ues to live here. After the severe stroke, Wal- 
ter and Viola lived with Gladys in Nashville 
so that she might be able to care for both of 
them. He passed away in 1963. 

After Walter passed away, Viola and Glad- 
ys came back to live in the home house where 
Gladys still lives. At the death of the last 
daughter, the farm will be owned by the two 
grandsons whom Walter and Viola Mullen 
raised. The grandsons are B. Claybourne Har- 
per and Carl E. Harper. All of this makes this 
farm unique. Submitted by Gladys M. Scott 


A Perry has lived on this land since James 
bought it in 1 768. Parts of what James owned 
have been handed down through the children, 
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 
James' son, Wiston, had thirteen children 
who inherited 300 acres a piece in 1 8 1 8. Some 
kept theirs and passed it on while others sold 
their share. 

The Ethridge house, 1967. 

Wiston's son, William Henry, left his share 
of the Perry Plantation to his son Oliver. In 
1956 Oliver left his share to his daughters, 
Nell Beasley, Linda Jones, and Billie 

The Ethridges broke tradition and started 
producing pork on their share along with the 
traditional tobacco, corn, and grain. The 1 50 
acres were also used for tree management. 

We built our house using the rock from the 
old chimneys on the plantation, and the floors 
are from the first timber cut on the plantation 
in 1768. We took them from the plantation 
manor house which was partly burned in 
1 890. Submitted by Billie P. Ethridge 


Several years before the American Revolu- 
tion and eight generations ago a plantation 
was carved out of the wilderness between 
Moccasin and Norris Creeks in southern 
Franklin County. The major crops produced 
since then were tobacco, corn, cotton, wheat, 
barley, oats, rye and soybeans. The second 
owner of this farm, a son, fought in the Revo- 
lutionary War. He had six grandsons that 
fought in the Civil War with four getting 

On the 100+ acres that we now own of the 
original large farm there was a log dwelling 
house, three log tobacco barns, a smokehouse, 
store or plantation commissary, corn crib and 

horse stalls, striproom over a pit for grading 
and preparing tobacco for market and a hand 
dug well with curb. This portion of the farm 
was tilled by one of the above mentioned Con- 
federate widows and children. While the war 
was still in progress this widow, living here at 
the time, was working in her garden beside 
some woods one day. A hunter saw a move- 
ment and thought it was a deer — shot, and in 
so doing killed this lady. 

Since the turn of the century this farm has 
been rented out to tenants that usually lived 
on the above described premises between SR 
1721, 1722 and 1723. The exception to this 
being when the present owner returned from 
serving in the U.S. Army during World War II 
and planted tobacco, corn, and wheat on this 
land while it was in his father's possession. 
Horses, mules and cotton were gradually 
phased out. The farm operation became more 
mechanized. The farm included other adjoin- 
ing acreage, a large mill pond with grist and 
feed mill. A lot of new farm and mill equip- 
ment was purchased during the next decade. 
The mill discontinued operation in 1 965. The 
father died in 1972 and we have rented the 
farm to local farmers and plan to do so in the 
future. The buildings were dismantled in 
1 987 due to them being in a state of disrepair 
because of termites and deterioration. In the 
same year approximately fifty acres of prime 
timber were sold. This farm will continue to 
be used for row crops, grain and woodland. 

Submitted by Benny L. Perry 

William Henry Perry; wife, Frances Elizabeth Wil- 
der; son, Oliver Wiston Perry; daughter, Maggie Ann 
Perry Underbill and son, Algenon Bryant Perry in 
front of their home built in 1899. 


The farm of Mrs. Sam Jones (Nell Perry) 
Beasley now belongs to her daughter, Jo Dee 
Beasley Jolliff as of 1 982. This farm was origi- 
nally farmed by Jo Dee's great-grandfather, 
William Henry Perry. This tract of land 
belonged to James Wiston Perry who left it to 
William Wiston. He left it divided among ten 
living children of 1 3. William Henry was the 
1 3th child and passed it on to his son, Oliver 
Wiston in 1928. Oliver Wiston deeded this 
particular tract to his daughter, Nell, in 1960 
consisting of 76 acres according to the deed. 

The other two children of Oliver Wiston 
Perry who own other parts adjoining this tract 
are Billie Perry Ethridge and Linda Perry 
Jones. Submitted by Mrs. S.J. Beasley 


The Speed Farm was purchased in 1 857 by 
Robert A. and Mary Davis Speed. They raised 
ten children including Henry P. who pur- 

Senator Speed's home. 

chased the other children's shares in the farm 
after the death of their parents around the 
turn of the century. 

Henry P. and his wife, Addie, operated the 
farm and raised five children during their life- 
time. After the death of Henry P. in 1957, a 
son, James D. Speed, purchased the shares of 
his two brothers and two sisters and has oper- 
ated the farm until present. 

Tobacco, grain, hay and timber are now 
grown on the 600 acre tract. Beef cattle has 
been the principal livestock grown. 

The farm is located ten miles north of 
Louisburgon S.R. 1436 and joins the proper- 
ty on one side by Laurel Mill, a well-known 
historical and scenic site. The mill is listed in 
the National Register of Historical Places. 

In addition to living in the original home in 
which he was born, and of operating the farm, 
James D. Speed has served six terms in the 
North Carolina House of Representatives 
and six terms in the North Carolina Senate. 
He and his wife, Martha, have three grown 
children: Claudia, Robert T. and James M. 
He will begin his seventh term in the North 
Carolina Senate in January 1989. 

Submitted by James D. Speed 

Gaston County 


A small farm with an interesting history 
describes this Gaston County farm. German 
and Swiss (Pennsylvania Dutch) settlers 
arrived in North Carolina Piedmont in the 
middle of the 1 8th century, coming to North 
Carolina mostly by way of southeastern Penn- 

As pioneers elsewhere they cleared land, 
built their log cabins, and settled in as farmers 
in a new land. After the area was officially 
labeled Anson County in 1 749 (later Meck- 
lenburg, Tryon, Lincoln, and then Gaston), 
they proceeded to apply for and obtain land 
grants for the tracts on which they lived. 

The west side of the farm was part of a 300- 
acre grant to Henry Isenhart in 1 763; the east 
side was part of a grant to Johannes Zimmer- 
man (John Carpenter) in 1775. 

The Isenhart tract was sold to a Peter Car- 
penter. In 1818a portion of it was sold to his 
daughter, Margaret, and her husband, Henry 
Kiser. This tract, on the death of Margaret, 
went to daughter Annie in 1 874. In the mean- 
time, Annie had in 1851 married M.L. Car- 
penter, who in 1855 had purchased a portion 
of the tract originally allotted to John Carpen- 
ter in 1775. 


Along the east side of the farm M.L. Car- 
penter built his home. Best known as a Meth- 
odist minister, he also farmed and operated a 
store near his home, on the Yorkville Road, 
then the main route between Lincolnton, 
North Carolina, and York, South Carolina. 

On the death of M.L. Carpenter in 1 9 1 8, fif- 
ty acres and the homesite passed to his youn- 
gest son, William B. Carpenter, who operated 
it with his son, Lester Webb Carpenter, until 
his retirement about 1950. Cotton was the 
principal crop. 

On the death of Lester Webb Carpenter, in 
1959, the farm descended to his son, William 
L. Carpenter, at the time a professor and 
administrator at N.C. State University in 
Raleigh. The farm was tenant operated and 
woodlands established until the 1 980s when a 
small peach and apple orchard was devel- 
oped. This orchard was established in antici- 
pation of the retirement of William L. which 
occurred at the end of 1984. Today the farm 
is operated by William L. and wife, Mattie 
W., primarily as an orchard and timber opera- 
tion. Submitted by William L. 

and Mattie W. Carpenter 


Craigland Farm, located between Catawba 
Creek and Mill Creek on Big Branch in south- 
eastern Gaston County, in 1987 is the home 
of Bill and Wilma Craig — William Neely and 
Wilma Ratchford Craig. Earlier, it was the 
home of Bill's parents, Ralph Ray and Grace 
Moore Craig and their family of four. Bill's 
grandparents, William Newton and Emily 
Wilson Craig with their family of six children, 
built a two-story farmhouse still used as a resi- 
dence. Bill's great-grandparents, William and 
Margaret Isabella Neely Craig with their fam- 
ily of five children, lived in a dwelling now 
used as an outbuilding. Bill's great-great- 
grandparents, James and "Polly" McKnight 
Craig with their twelve children, acquired the 
land about 1813. 

The William N. Craig house built in 1886 on land 
owned by the Craig family since 1813. 

James Craig, son of Henry and Mary Craig 
of now York County, South Carolina, pur- 
chased a 42 acre tract of undeveloped land 
from a Johnathan Rhyne and added to his 
inheritance. Henry was a Revolutionary vet- 
eran who was wounded at the battle of Fishing 
Creek. James was a maker of felt hats and a 
farmer. In the growing season he raised food 
for the family, feed for livestock, and cotton 
for a cash crop. He transported the cotton to 
Charleston, South Carolina for sale. On 
return trips he would bring back hardware, 
salt and other items necessary for the opera- 


tion and improvement of his farm and trade 
of hat-making. By a series of pruchases, he 
enlarged his holdings in the general area. 

James' son, William Moore Craig, inherit- 
ed the portion of the holding that became 
CRaigland. He was a farmer and cobbler. 

William Moore Craig's son, William New- 
ton Craig, added to his inheritance and 
became a planter with many tenants furnish- 
ing the labor for the production of cotton. 

William Newton Craig's three sons and 
three daughters inherited the twelve hundred 
acre farm. Ralph Ray Craig, one of the sons of 
William Newton Craig, continued in the pro- 
duction of cotton using tenant labor until 
mechanization reduced labor needs. He saw 
the change from tenant farmers living on the 
land helping raise cotton to some dairy pro- 
duction, fruit trees, poultry, to the beef cattle 
operation which requires less intensive labor. 
He also was engaged in off-farm employment 
to supplement his income. 

Today, a herd of Belted Galloway cattle, 
pasture land, forage crops, woodland, garden 
spots, home and farm buildings occupy 
CRaigland. Off-farm work makes it possible 
to hold onto the land and keep a bit of rural 
life in the midst of a rapidly urbanizing area. 

It is the goal of the present owners for 
CRaigland to remain a working family farm 
into the next century and beyond. 

Submitted by William Neely and 
Wilma Ratchford Craig 


The first Dellingers probably arrived in 
Gaston County around the time of the Revo- 
lutionary War. Since that time six generations 
of Dellingers have farmed there. The first 
farm was located in White Pine, now Cherry- 
ville, between Indian Creek and Muddy Fork 
Creek and was owned by George and Eliza- 
beth Dellinger. On December 1, 1837, Eliza- 
beth gave birth to Phillip H. Dellinger. Dur- 
ing the Civil War, Phillip served in the 
Eleventh North Carolina Infantry Regiment 
until losing his right leg at the Battle of the 
Wilderness. After his release he returned to 
White Pine and married Sarah E. Evans on 
May 6, 1865. They moved to her family's 
farm a few miles from present day Cherryville 
on Muddy Fork Creek. It is 54 acres of that 
land tract that is the century farmland. 

Alvin and Ola Dellingers farmhouse in Cherryville, 

The house that stands on that land today is 
the same house that Phillip built when he and 
Sarah moved to the farm in 1865, with the 
exception of an addition built in 1910. They 
raised cotton to sell and a variety of other food 
stuffs for personal use. Phillip died in 1922 
leaving the farm to his wife and three of his 

eight children that remained there. One of his 
daughters, Amandus, had a son, Alvin, in 
1 904 before her death in 1922. Alvin stayed at 
the farm with his aunt, Ella, and uncle, Mutz. 
He married Ola Carpenter in 1937 and 
returned to the farm with her. They continued 
to grow a variety of crops for themselves and 
friends. Their son, Gene, graduated from 
Appalachian State University in 1965 and 
chose a career in education but still has great 
interest in the farm due to his two sons. 

Only a few acres of the current fifty-four 
acre tract of land are actively farmed. The rest 
of the rich soil waits for a time when it will be 
called on again. Submitted by Alvin H. Dellinger 


Nicholas Friday (or Freytag) was born 
December 1745 in York County, Pennsylva- 
nia and came south to Gaston County 
between the years 1757-1765. He acquired a 
large tract of land on both sides of the south 
fork of the Catawba River near the town of 
Hardin. Upon his death, these lands passed to 
his two sons, Jonas and Andrew. They 
acquired more land from settlers moving 

A log barn, built by John Nicholas Friday, on the Fri- 
day farm. 

In 1835 one of Jonas' sons, John Nicholas 
Friday, built the log barn pictured and also a 
house on land which is part of the present 
farm. Whether this was a part of the original 
tract or bordered it has not been determined. 
The original house burned in 1900 but the 
barn, with additions, still stands. A portion of 
the farm, 1 39 acres, was inherited by Michael 
A. Friday, son of John Nicholas Friday. 
Michael divided the farm between his sons 
and daughters. However, Lewis E. Friday, his 
youngest son, purchased his brothers' and sis- 
ters' shares to keep the farm intact. Lewis 
passed the farm on to his son, Edward E. Fri- 
day, the present owner. 

At present, the farm consists of 216 acres 
on which Shorthorn cattle, Nubian dairy 
goats and hay are raised. This land has been 
farmed by members of the Friday family for 
at least 1 50 years, and there are three sons and 
a daughter to carry on this tradition. 

Submitted by Edward E. Friday 


According to a deed dated December 29, 
1 789 recorded in the Lincoln County register 
of deeds office, a 225 acre tract on a branch of 
Duhart Creek in Lincoln (now Gaton) Coun- 
ty, North Carolina was purchased by John 


The Tit man home circa 1940. 

Titman for 130 pounds. This original tract 
was added to and divided many times. 

John's son, Anthony Titman; Anthony's 
son, Abram Boyden Titman; Abram's daugh- 
ter, Elizabeth Margaret Titman Wilson; Eliz- 
abeth Margaret's son, Lyndon Grier Wilson 
and Lyndon's daughter, Lynda Ellen Wilson 
Hancock, are the direct lineage of owners who 
have engaged in agriculture through the years. 

Lynda's parents, Lyndon Grier and Ela 
Dixon Wilson, lived the agrarian, simple, 
though sometimes harsh life for 53 years until 
his death in 1 973. The farm was a calm place 
with a garden for vegetables, fruit trees, tim- 
ber land, strawberries, native berries, with 
mules to work, cows for milk and butter, 
chickens for eggs as well as food. Her father 
rose early to go to the fields of corn, cotton, 
and grain, and her mother cooked, canned, 
planted flowers, milked and churned, and 
washed clothes in a black pot. They experi- 
enced changes in the ways of farming. 

Lynda married John Harry Hancock, a city 
man from Decatur, Georgia. They built a 
home on the property in 1967 and helped to 
carry on the tradition. Much of the land was 
converted to a permanent pasture for raising 
beef cattle. 

Lynda and John's two children, Stephen 
and Julia, were raised on the tract of land now 
known as Lynland. Their children are being 
raised in urban areas. Will Stephen and Julia 
be the last generation of Lynda's family to 
have the privilege of being reared in rural 
America as the urban world moves steadily 
closer to Lynland? 

Submitted by Lynda W. Hancock 


Since before the middle of the i 8th century 
when George Bashore (later spelled Pasour), 
pioneer, settled in Gaston County on land 
granted from the King of England, nine gener- 
ations of Pasours have farmed the Pasour 
mountain area near Dallas. 

In 1 868 a great-grandson of pioneer George 
Bashore, Manasseh Pasour, gave to his son 
Caleb approximately 100 acres of farm and 
timber lands, which today is the century farm- 
land. In 1872 Caleb built his home, a seven- 
room structure which stood until 1 979, and in 
which he and his wife Sarah reared nine chil- 

As was the case with earlier and later 
Pasours, Caleb served in many civic capaci- 
ties in addition to maintaining a well-run 
farm and teaching school. He was a member 
of the Gaston County Board of Commission- 
ers for six years and held the office of chair- 

Caleb Pasour family. 

man of the board for four years, 1 893 through 
1896. He also was a justice of the peace, and 
several of his sons held that office as well. 

After Caleb's death in 1898, the farm 
passed to his oldest son, Grant, who contin- 
ued the family farming, growing such diverse 
crops as wheat, oats, barley, corn, cotton and 
any number of vegetables. It was under 
Grant's diligent land management that the 
soil on the farm was developed into the prime 
farmland status it enjoys to this day. 

At his death in 1958, Grant Pasour willed 
the farm to his widowed sister, Laura Pasour 
Rhyne, who in turn willed it to her daughter, 
Sarah Rhyne Watts. 

During all the intervening years the farm 
has continued in operation, and today it sup- 
ports crops grown for an adjoining dairy farm 
owned by James Pasour, himself a direct 
descendant of pioneer George Bashore. 

Submitted by Sarah R. Watts 


The history of our farm started when a 
young man, Ambrose Rhyne, traded to his 
father, wheat for 79 acres of farmland. He 
started to build a home for himself and his 
future bride, Mary Jenkins. 

Unfortunately his plans were interrupted 
by the Civil War. After four long years of 
extreme hardship and deprivation, he 
returned to finish his home and marry. 

Although times were hard, Ambrose Rhyne 
prospered. He was able later to buy 1 20 more 
acres of land. Besides growing food for them- 
selves, they grew corn for whiskey, sorghum 
for molasses and of course cotton. 

Tragedy struck again in 1869 when his 
bride of four years died leaving him with two 
baby daughters. These babies were placed in 
relatives' homes. He later married Cynthia 
Shetley and had three more daughters. One of 
these girls married Samuel Pasour in 1900. 
Samuel moved in with Mr. Rhyne and they 
farmed in partnership for several years, dur- 
ing which time several rooms were added to 
the house. Sam had three children when he 
bought a farm adjoining the Rhyne farm and 
moved there. His oldest son, Howard, was 
five years old and was very attached to Mr. 
Rhyne and wanted to stay with him. They let 
him stay since they were living nearby. How- 

ard took over operation of the farm when Mr. 
Rhyne died in 1924 and inherited his land 
when the two unmarried Rhyne daughters 
died. Howard Pasour bought 100 acres more 
and left 300 acres when he died. After whiskey 
became illegal, they sold milk, butter, molas- 
ses, vegetables, eggs and firewood in the near- 
by cotton mill villages. In 1 934 he started sell- 
ing Grade A milk to Sunrise Dairy. In 1 936 he 
stopped growing cotton. Howard Pasour sold 
milk until he died in 1 980. After his death his 
son Clay Pasour changed to beef cattle. Clay 
Pasour became owner by will. 

Submitted by Clay W. Pasour 


Robert William Wilson bought 224 acres 
of land in the Union section of Gaston Coun- 
ty in 1822 for a little over a dollar an acre. 
More acreage was added from time to time. 
Robert Wilson's son, Colonel Robert Newton 
Wilson, married Mary Eliza Adams in 1862, 
two months before he left for the Civil War. 
Five children were born to Mary Eliza and 
Colonel Wilson: William Clarence, Robert 
Hope, Rebecca Jane, Frank G. and Catherine 

The Sparrow home, located on Sparrow Dairy Road, 
was a landmark in Gaston County until it burned in 

At Colonel Wilson's death the farm was 
divided among the children. Kate (Catherine) 
was married to Thomas Sparrow son of Rev- 
erend George A. and Susan Brown Sparrow in 
1897 and they operated a dairy farm on 
Kate's share of the land. Three children were 
born to Kate and Thomas: Thomas, Jr., Susan 


Brown and Catherine. The Sparrow dairy 
farm sold milk to many families in Gastonia, 
as well as the City Hopital, North Carolina 
Orthopedic Hospital, Arlington Hotel, Ken- 
nedy's Drug Store, and Robinson School. 

Thomas Sparrow, Jr. married Margaret 
Frances Glenn from Clover, South Carolina 
in 1925 and had two children, Mary Frances 
and Thomas Glenn. The dairy farm contin- 
ued until 1956 at which time the cows were 
sold being replaced by beef cattle and hogs. 

Thomas Glenn Sparrow married Joy Lau- 
rice Whisonant in 1958 and from this union 
two sons were born, Thomas Daniel Sparrow 
and Steven Glenn Sparrow. At Thomas Spar- 
row Jr.'s death in 1 975, Thomas Glenn Spar- 
row and sons, Danny and Glenn, continued to 
farm growing hay, corn, and garden products. 
Several summers they sold corn at the far- 
mer's market in Gastonia. Thomas Daniel 
Sparrow (Danny) married Sherri Ann Cline 
in 1986 and a son, Justin Thomas Sparrow, 
was born on September 20, 1 988. 

At the present time this makes six genera- 
tions who have lived on and farmed land 
which was bought in 1822. Hopefully Justin 
and other descendants will carry on this farm- 
ing tradition. 

Submitted by Thomas Glenn Sparrow 


Robert William Wilson bought this tract of 
land in Lincoln County (now Gatson) in 1 822 
for a little more than one dollar per acre. 

The 40th wedding anniversary of Mary Frances 
Sparrow Ratchford and George L. Ratchford, their 
son, George, Jr., and his wife, Cheryl, ana grandson, 
John Lyme Ratchford. Picture taken, October 18, 

His son, Colonel Robert Newton Wilson, 
fought under Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg 
and also under Stonewall Jackson. He lived to 
be ninety-three and was well known for his 
remarkable power of memory. 

Colonel "Newt" Wilson's daughter, Cath- 
erine Lavinia (Kate) Wilson, was the next 
owner of the land. She married Thomas Spar- 
row in 1897 and made their home on the 
farm. They worked hard and long hours and 
their farm became known as Sparrows Farm 

Their son, Thomas Sparrow, Jr., inherited 
a portion of the farm in 1955. He had made 
his home on the farm his entire life and was 
also a hard working farmer. He married Mar- 
garet Frances Glenn in 1925 and they contin- 
ued to live and work hard on the farm. Thom- 
as and Margaret had a son, Thomas Glenn 

Gaston — Gates 

Sparrow, and a daughter, Mary Frances Spar- 

Mary Frances Sparrow was married to 
George Lytle Ratchford in 1947. She inherit- 
ed part of the land in 1975 and they moved 
back to the old home site after living in Gasto- 
nia. They have one son, George Lytle Ratch- 
ford, Jr., who married Cheryl Gilmore in 
1981 and lives in Gastonia. They have one 
son, John Lytle Ratchford (4 years old). 
George Jr. and John both enjoy coming out to 
the farm to visit and work. 

Six generations have lived on this farm and 
the seventh generation never gets to stay long 

It is an honor and privilege to have my fam- 
ily history be included with other families in 
the North Carolina Century Farm history col- 

Submitted by Mary Frances Sparrow Ratchford 


My family got its start from Peter Straub 
who brought his wife and two sons, Peter II 
and Jacob, to America in 1 733 from Germa- 
ny. They settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylva- 
nia. Jacob later came south to Alexis, North 
Carolina, married and had twelve children. 
He left a will dated March 27, 1 800 which was 
probated in January 1 805 in Lincoln County, 
North Carolina. 

The fourth, fifth and sixth generations of Stroup 
men: L to R: Albert Augustus, David Russell and 
David Charles Stroup. 

Moses Stroup, Sr. one of Jacob's sons is my 
great-grandfather. Moses Sr. married Gincy 
Mary Clark and they were granted three thou- 
sand acres of land in Gaston County, North 
Carolina by King George III. 

David Russell and his wife, Pauline, along 
with their only son, Albert Augustus, and his 
son, David Charles all still reside on and farm 
three hundred of the original three thousand 
acres. David Russell and his wife live in the 
third and last house built on the property in 
1 888. The second house, built of logs cut from 
the farm, is still in use today as a barn. There 
are also two other outbuildings that are origi- 
nal buildings, a wheat house and a wood shed. 

Moses Stroup, Jr. served in the House of 
Representatives in the session of 1891. 

Submitted by David Russell Stroup 

Gates County 


The farm originally owned by James 
Edward Barnes of Irish descent in the 1850s 
has been a landmark in the Barnes family. On 

a rural unpaved road in the Corapeake area 
came to live William Jesse Barnes and Mary 
Elizabeth Taylor a husband and wife. To their 
union were added 13 children (one a still- 
born). Four of these were victims of whooping 
cough and expired. 

Two lived to be four and five year olds — 
treading their footsteps behind their father 
following a mule and plow. Of the nine chil- 
dren to live to mature years there still remains 
a daughter 97, a son 86, and a son 8 1 years old. 

There are many remembrances of life in the 
past. The father went to the Portsmouth, Vir- 
ginia city market with turkeys to sell in a cart 
and mule for years. Many were the times 
when the mule would run away while corn was 
being pulled by hand. There were lean years 
then, as now, when only three cartloads of 
corn were harvested. 

With 45 acres of land in cultivation there 
was also cotton, peanuts and soybeans. There 
was also a big garden and a few sweet potatoes 
for home use. All of the Barnes family helped 
to tend the crops — picking the cotton by 
hand and picking peanuts by steam engine 
and later with tractor drawn equipment. 

Needless to say it was difficult to find time 
to go to school. With only six month school 
terms and with days missed to plant and har- 
vet the crops an education was at a premium. 
They walked to school to a one room school- 
house. The boys were delighted to carry their 
girlfriend's books for them. 

Now the farm is rented to a neighbor who in 
the year 1987 planted the entire farm in cot- 
ton. It was beautiful growing and as the fields 
began to blossom and then bear big balls of 
cotton to be harveted by a mechanical picker. 

We are proud to be a North Carolina Centu- 
ry Farm family and Americans who believe in 
agriculture. Submitted by Mrs. Frank Barnes 


On June 26, 1866 James Rountree was 
deeded fifty acres of land, a horse and cart, 
stock of all kinds and household and kitchen 
furniture for the sum of five dollars due to an 
indebtedness to him for the sum of three hun- 
dred-fifty dollars. 

E.A. Blanchard's home now owned by his heirs. 

The house was two stories with hallways the 
length of the house, downstairs and upstairs, 
a front porch and the kitchen in the back away 
from the main house. There was a milk house, 
a smokehouse which was put together with 
wooden pegs and is still standing, a cotton 
house with spinning wheels — all which are 
still in the family, and the wood house — all 
surrounded by a fence. The following year he 



bought fifty acres across the road. On this 
land directly across from the house were the 
stables, a little house known as the "still 
house", and log barns one of which is still 
standing. Stories are told that Civil War sol- 
diers slept in the long hallways in the house 
and drank whiskey which probably came 
from the "still house." 

In 1870 James Rountree died. He left his 
wife and three young girls. She hired Elisha 
Blanchard to be the "overseer" of the farm. 
He "courted" one of the girls and they mar- 
ried. They lived and farmed here and reared 
four children. In 1880 he bought sixteen more 
acres of land. In 1891 Elisha Blanchard 
bought the property from James Rountree's 
widow and the other two heirs. 

In 1913 Elisha Blanchard's son, Elisha A. 
Blanchard, married. At this time the house 
was remodeled. Two more rooms were added 
downstairs and upstairs on the other side of 
the long hallways. The "old" kitchen was 
joined by a porch to the main house. It still 
stands and was used until 1957 when a mod- 
ern kitchen was built in the main house and in 
1961a bathroom was added. 

In 1938 Elisha A. Blanchard's mother died 
and he inherited his third of the farm and 
became owner of the house. There were six 
children in his family. They all helped to 
farm. They raised peanuts, corn, cotton, soy- 
beans and hogs. They have many memories of 
the great day of picking peanuts, pulling corn 
by hand, picking cotton and "hog-killing." 

In 1951 Elisha A. Blanchard died. Elisha's 
son, William N. Blanchard, had married and 
continued to live in the house and to farm this 
land which is the only occupation William has 
ever had, but with no regrets. No one except a 
member of William's family has lived in this 
house or farmed this land since 1866. 

William's two sisters, a nephew and Wil- 
liam still own this property and have many 
memories of the family farm. 

Submitted by William N. Blanchard 


Cypress Glade has been home to at least 
seven generations of Morgans. 

Cypress Glade farm homeplace. 

Records show that the farm was willed to 
James Thomas Morgan born in 1791 by his 
parents John and Charity Morgan. 

The Morgan homeplace is located in Gates 
County in the Corapeake Community about 

one and a half miles from the Virginia border. 
This area was once part of Nansemond Coun- 
ty, Virginia, and records were destroyed dur- 
ing the Civil War. 

Family stories say that the first Morgan 
came here with only a horse and saddle. We 
know that the house began small and grew 
with each generation. Many births, weddings 
and deaths have taken place here. Aunts, 
uncles and cousins by the dozens have spent 
many happy hours in the spacious old house, 
on its cool porches and under the big old trees. 

The present owner's mother, Virginia Mar- 
ston Morgan, named it Cypress Glade 
because of a low area near the house with 
beautiful cypress trees. 

There are 209 acres and Samuel remembers 
walking behind a horse in his youth to till it. 
His son, a graduate of North Carolina State 
University, has the most modern equipment 
and a computer to keep his books. 

Peanuts remain the important money crop 
but corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats are also 
grown. Cotton is being grown again after a 
lapse of several years. Hogs still supply cash 
flow all through the year. Cattle are raised for 
beef but no longer is the milk bucket with its 
two inches of "froth" brought to the kitchen. 

In a very old notebook are the names of 
slaves and their offspring. There is a small 
field still referred to as the "Roxanne Cut" 
because a slave by that name had a cabin 

The old place has seen many changes; each 
generation has had its share of the good and 
bad seasons but someone has always "hung in 
there" and perservered and worked the old 

Samuel and Doris Morgan have five chil- 
dren and eight grandchildren to carry on the 
tradition. Submitted by Samuel Lee Morgan and 

Doris Perry Morgan 


The farm was given to Catherine Eure and 
her husband Boone Eure by her father, Jethro 
Eure. They moved to this farm around 1850 
and their youngest child, Lemuel, was born 
here in 1853. 

The Eure farm, Gates, N.C. 

Catherine died in January 1 884 and Boone 
died in February 1892. When the estate was 


settled, the farm became the property of their 
son, Roscoe Eure, who was born in 1836. 

After Roscoe Eure's death in November 
1911, the farm became the property of the 
youngest child, Lemuel Eure. 

Lemuel Eure died in April 1 934 leaving the 
estate to his nieces and nephews. The estate 
was settled in 1937. According to the deed 
which is dated July 6, 1 937, the farm was pur- 
chased by Alfred Patrick Rountree and his 
wife Annie Margaret Eure Rountree, a grand- 
daughter of Catherine and Boone Eure and 
the daughter of their son Abram Eure. 

On March 2, 1 950 Alfred Patrick Rountree 
and his wife, Annie Margaret Eure Rountree, 
deeded the farm to their second son, Herbert 
Franklin Rountree. He is the present owner 
and his home is located on the property near 
the site of the original home. The farm has 
been in continuous cultivation with corn, 
peanuts and soybeans being cultivated at this 
time (in 1987). 

Located on this farm is the Eure family 
cemetery where Catherine and Boone Eure 
and all their children were buried. 

Submitted by Carolyn R. Eaton 


The Eure-Rountree Farm is farm #38, 
located on the east side of NC Hwy. #37 about 
four miles south of Gates, North Carolina and 
about four miles north of Gatesville, North 
Carolina. It was known as the Abram Eure 
place, then the Walter Eure place, and at pres- 
ent the Charlie Rountree Home. The commu- 
nity in which the farm lies is called Wiggins 
Hill. The origin of the name is not known. The 
southeast boundary is Wiggins Swamp and at 
the bridge of the swamp there is a hill which is 
known as Wiggins Hill. 

The Eure Rountree homestead located outside of 
Gates, N.C. 

Abram Eure, 1834-1907, the original own- 
er of the farm purchased the land from Samu- 
el E. Smith in December 1 856. A bachelor, he 
was called to service during the War Between 
the States. He was an aide to General Roberts. 
At the close of the war he returned home hav- j 
ing been wounded. Even with this handicap 
and along with extreme poverty which was i 
true of most Gates County residents, Eure 
was able to operate his farm. 

In 1 868 Abram Eure was married to Sarah 
Elizabeth Lawrence, the daughter of Mar- 
meduke Lawrence whose farm joined the 
Eure land on the north and east. The three 
children of Abram and Sarah Elizabeth Eure: 
Walter L. Eure, Annie Margaret Eure Roun- 
tree, and Susie Eure Williams were given a 
portion of their grandfather Marmeduke 


Lawrence's land. This land joined the land of 
Abram Eure and became a part of his farm. 

Abram Eure set aside about an acre of his 
land for the purpose of building a school and 
with the help of neighbors a one-room log 
building was erected and a teacher was 
employed. The school was a community- 
supported project. All children were privi- 
leged to attend even if their parents were not 
able to contribute to the support of the school. 
In the early 1900s when public schools were 
established the log school was replaced with a 
one-room frame building. The log school was 
moved a short distance to the lot of Abram 
Eure's dwelling. It has remained there until 
the present time, having been used to store 
corn or any other products which were pro- 
duced on the farm. Although still standing, 
the building is in very poor condition. 

Walter L. Eure became the owner and oper- 
ator of the farm after the death of his father in 
1907. He remained the owner until his death 
in 1 945. His wife Maud Sawyer Eure and son 
Walter L. Eure lived with him on the farm. 

Charlie W. Rountree, grandson of Abram 
Eure and son of Annie Eure Rountree and 
Alfred P. Rountree, purchased the farm at his 
uncle's death. He has lived with his wife and 
daughter, Margaret Felton Rountree and 
Annie Margaret Rountree since that time. 
Although at 86 years of age he no longer culti- 
vates the land, it is tended by Lane Farm Sup- 
ply and has been in cultivation constantly 
since 1856. A scuppernong grapevine planted 
by Abram and Sarah Elizabeth Eure in 1868 
still bears delicious fruit. 

Submitted by Margaret F. Rountree 


Edmund James "Ned" and Edith Virginia 
Langston Freeman (1853-1934) purchased 
this 350 acre farm which was divided by the 
state line soon after they married in 1876. 
They purchased it from George Bishop, a 
New York Yankee, who had passed by it dur- 
ing the Civil War. Wheat was growing head 
high. After the war he returned to purchase 
the farm and tried unsuccessfully to grow 
wheat. After his unsuccessful farming adven- 
ture he discovered that what he had seen on 
his way south was not wheat but broomstraw. 
He was glad to divest himself of his farming 
interest and return north. 

The Joseph Freeman house built in 1820. 

The Freemans had eight children: five of 
them lived to adulthood. The youngest, 
Joseph Ray Freeman (1892-1942), was the 
only child to marry. Two of the children, 
Hewett and Edith, lived in the homeplace 

their entire life. The other two, Lloyd and 
John, left home to work but returned home in 
their old age. All of the family but Ray are bur- 
ied in the family cemetery on the farm. 

Edith Freeman, the last child to survive, 
died in 1964. The property descended to the 
children of Joseph Ray Freeman, namely 
Edith Freeman Seiling, Joseph Ray Freeman, 
Jr., Julian Freeman and Anita Godwin. 
Julian Freeman died in 1985 and his share is 
now owned by his heirs. 

In 1975 Peggy Seiling, daughter of Edith 
Freeman Seiling and her husband Mike 
Lefler, purchased the house from the Free- 
man heirs. 

The house is a unique landmark named the 
Freeman/State Line House because it strad- 
dles the North Carolina-Virginia line. The 
oldest part of the house dates from the eigh- 
teenth century and was a one-room house. 
The last addition (North Carolina side) was 
made about 1830. The earliest documented 
ownership was by Samuel Cross who was liv- 
ing here in 1817. 

The house's surrounding property includes 
an extraordinary complement of frame out- 
buildings: a tall, gable-roof smokehouse, a 
kitchen with an exterior end chimney, a tack 
house with attached woodshed, two large 
barns and an antebellum stable. 

The unique location of the house has added 
colorful elements to its history. Edmund J. 
Freeman, who lived in the house for forty 
years, was a justice of the peace in both states 
simultaneously. Young lovers eloping from 
each state would come to the house to be mar- 
ried in the adjoining state by the same magis- 
trate. In the old days, the property was 
favored for fighting duels. Duelists would 
pair off, one standing in North Carolina, the 
other in Virginia. When the opponent fell, the 
victor merely stepped across the state line and 
gained freedom from arrest. An unusual joint 
birthday party celebrated by North Carolina 
and Virginia youths born on the same day, 
tugs of war across the state line, and the split- 
ting of state loyalties among brothers and sis- 
ters have become part of the house's lore. 

The State Line House was entered in the 
National Register of Historic Places in 1982 
and is now occupied by Michael and Peggy 
Lefler, the great-granddaughter of Edmund J. 

One can reserve bed and breakfast accom- 
modations at the State Line House by con- 
tacting B&B in Albemarle. 

Submitted by Edith Freeman Seiling 


The Joseph Freeman farm is located in 
northern Gates County one mile south of the 
North Carolina-Virginia state line near the 
community of Reynoldson. 

Joseph Freeman (1772-1842), original 
owner, was born in Bertie County, North Car- 
olina. After the death of his mother he moved 
to Gates County to live with his grandfather 
and legal guardian, Joseph Speight. In 1799 
he married Christine Rawls. Shortly after his 
marriage in 1801 he acquired his first land, 
105 acres from Bray Saunders and Mary 

Joseph was a craftsman and farmer. In the 
early 1800s he built furniture and made cof- 
fins. He also farmed. In 1820 he built his 
home which is known as the Joseph Freeman 

house and still stands. By 1 842 when he died 
he had acquired approximately 300 acres of 

Joseph and Christine were parents of six 
children: Elizabeth, Nancy, Martha, Harriet, 
Polly and John. Joseph willed his real proper- 
ty to his wife for her lifetime and then to his 
daughters, who at the time of his death all 
remained unmarried. Later one married, but 
had no children. Son John had married and 
moved to Virginia. He received property 
including his father's carpenter tools. John 
(1801-1855) had 11 children. His seventh 
child, Edmund James Freeman ( 1 844- 1917), 
returned to North Carolina to live (Freeman 
State Line House). 

Joseph Freeman's daughters died between 
1883 and 1889. The property was willed to 
their nephew, Edmund James "Ned," who 
had married a Gates County lady in 1876. 

Edith and Edmund James Freeman 
("Ned") had purchased the farm on the state 
line soon after their marriage in 1876. After 
the deaths of the aunts, "Ned" rented the 
Reynoldson farm. This couple were parents 
of eight children. Five lived to adulthood. The 
youngest, Joseph Ray (1892-1942), was the 
only child to ever marry. In 1 9 1 5 he married 
Virginia Elizabeth Pittman. As bride and 
groom they moved to the Joseph Freeman 
farm at Reynoldson to live. This couple had 
five children: four survived to adulthood. 

The last of the Edmund J. Freeman chil- 
dren died in 1 964 and the property descended 
to the children of Joseph Ray Freeman, name- 
ly: Edith Freeman Seiling, Joseph Ray Free- 
man Jr., Julian Pittman Freeman and Anita 
Godwin. In 1985 Julian died and his interest 
in the property descended to his daughter, 
Anna Freeman, and his wife, Margaret Free- 

The property has been family owned for 
188 years, and to date has been inherited by 
only four generations. It has been placed on 
the National Register study list. 

Submitted by Edith Freeman Seiling 


John Gatling, who was born prior to 1616, 
appears to be the first Gatling to come to 
America. William Gatling, who died in 1791, 
was his son from whom the present farm was 
passed down through the generations. 

The earliest records of the Gatling family, 
presently in Gates County, appear in the Isle 
of Wight County Virginia courthouse. Prior 
to the establishment of the boundary line 
between North Carolina and Virginia in 1 729 
many people living in the northern part of 
what is now Gates County were supposed to 
be in Virginia but found they were in North 
Carolina. This seems to be the case in grants 
to the Gatlings for land supposed to have been 
in Nansemond County, Virginia. 

Due to a lack of records it is difficult to be 
sure, but it appears that the line of descent was 
from William Gatling, through his son, John, 
down to the present generation is correct. 
John Gatling's son, James, was the father of 
Riddick Gatling, great-grandfather of the 
present owner. 

Riddick Gatling was born in Gates County, 
North Carolina April 1 , 1 797 and died Febru- 
ary 16, 1868. Riddick was one of the out- 


standing men of his day in the county. He 
served in the state legislature and was one of 
the delegates to the Constitutional Conven- 
tion of 1835 from the county. He inherited 
and accumulated large holdings of real estate. 

Upon his death farms were given to his two 
sons, Riddick Gatling, Jr. and John J. Gat- 

After serving as an officer during the Civil 
War, and participating in nearly all of the 
important battles, Riddick Gatling, Jr. 
returned to the family farm. He represented 
the county in the state legislature in 1 858 and 
1 870. He lived on and cared for the farm until 
his death in 1912. 

This farm was passed on to Riddick Gat- 
ling, Jr.'s son, Gladstone Daughtry Gatling. 
He cared for the land and raised corn, beans, 
cotton, and peanuts. G.D. Gatling was very 
public spirited, concerned about progress in 
Gates County and the welfare of its citizens. 
He served in the state legislature from the 
county in 1 9 1 3, 1 9 1 5, 1 93 1 and 1 933. Upon 
his death in 1954 the old Riddick Gatling, 
Jr.'s farm passed to his granddaughter and the 
daughters of G.D. Gatling: Nina Gatling Par- 
ker and Carolyn Gatling Vaughan. It was pur- 
chased and presently owned by Nina Gatling 
Parker. Submitted by Nina Gatling Parker 


Abner Rountree purchased this farm in 
1 800. The deed is dated August 1 1 , 1 800 and 
is recorded in the office of the register of deeds 
of Gates County. The farm has been in contin- 
uous cultivation with corn, peanuts and soy- 
beans as the principal crops. Cotton was 
grown here and considered an important crop 
until about 1950. 

The Simmons Rountree house built in 1830, photo- 
graphed November 1986. 

At Abner Rountree's death in 1816 a por- 
tion of land was set aside for a family grave- 
yard. This is still maintained as the Rountree 
family cemetery. Abner Rountree's older son, 
Simmons Rountree, inherited the farm. In 
1823 he married Elizabeth Parker Rountree 
and they continued to live in the Abner Roun- 


tree house until the early 1830s when Sim- 
mons Rountree had a new house built. The 
house, a one-room plan house of two stories, 
is a three-bay by one-bay, twenty-three foot 
by eighteen foot structure with a nine foot 
deep shed across the rear. The stair rises along 
the rear wall of the parlor to the corner where 
it turns with winders and continues to the sec- 
ond story. The parlor has plastered walls and 
ceiling, much of which has fallen, and a wains- 
coat featuring a single board about twenty- 
two inches in width with plain mitered sur- 
roundings. A porch with plain Doric pillars 
supporting a shed roof was added probably 
sometime in the 1850s by Simmons Roun- 
tree's son, Alfred Gatling Rountree. 

Simmons Rountree and his wife died with- 
in ten days of each other in March 1850. 
When the estate was settled, the farm was 
deeded to their older son Alfred Gatling 
Rountree (1826-1907) who, in May 1850 
married Rebecca Eason Rountree (1830- 
1917). They became the parents of eleven 
children born between 1851 and 1875. 

Prior to Alfred Gatling Rountree's death, 
he deeded the farm to his youngest child, 
Alfred Patrick Rountree, who had married 
Annie Eure Rountree on March 7, 1 900. They 
began their married life in the home of his 
elderly parents. It was here that their first two 
children were born — Charlie Walter Roun- 
tree born January 7, 1 90 1 and Herbert Frank- 
lin Rountree born September 29, 1902. Both 
of them now own and reside on century farms. 
Charlie has the farm of their grandparents 
Abram and Sarah Elizabeth Eure, and Her- 
bert has the farm of their great-grandparents, 
Boone and Catherine Eure. 

In 1902 Alfred Patrick Rountree and his 
wife, Annie, purchased an adjoining tract of 
land, and in 1904 had a house built near the 
end of the private lane. This became known as 
the A. P. Rountree homeplace. They moved 
into their new home just before Christmas 
1904 and their third child, Gladys Rebecca 
Rountree, was born January 25, 1905. But 
sadness came to this young family when little 
Gladys Rebecca died of pneumonia on April 
6, 1906. Their fourth child, Dillard Milton 
Rountree born April 23, 1909 inherited the 
A. P. Rountree homeplace and resides in the 

After Alfred Gatling Rountree's death on 
March 16, 1907, his widow, Rebecca Eason 
Rountree, moved to the home of her youngest 
child, Alfred Patrick Rountree where she 
lived until her death on November 4, 1917. 
Even though the Simmons Rountree house 
has stood unoccupied since the death of 
Alfred Gatling Rountree in March of 1907, it 
is in a remarkable state of repair. 

Alfred Patrick Rountree died August 25, 
1955 and in accordance with his will, at the 
death of his widow Annie Eure Rountree on 
April 2, 1961, the custodianship of the old 
Rountree homeplace passed to their fifth and 
youngest child, Annie Elizabeth Rountree. 

Submitted by Elizabeth Rountree 


The William and Martha Eason Stallings 
farm is located in Gates and Perquimans 
Counties in the Sandy Cross Community and 
includes some of the Dismal Swamp. The 
farm was purchased in 1850. Following the 
deaths of William and Martha a division was 

The Stallings family early 1940s — L to R: Eva 
Ward, Lester, Ruth, Maxine, and Thomas J. 

made and farm ownership was passed to their 
son, William Thomas Stallings, and their 
daughter, Martha Jane Stallings Nixon. Dur- 
ing their ownership several acres were sold to 
the Farmers Manufacturing Company which 
operated a barrel stave mill known as Gum 
Mill. The Norfolk and Southern Railroad 
built a train track through the farm. The main 
track ran from Suffolk, Virginia to Edenton, 
North Carolina, and the line through the farm 
was a branch from Beckford to Elizabeth 
City. The train stop at Gum Mill was known 
as Peach Siding. 

Thomas Judson Stallings (Tommie), the 
second oldest son of William Thomas and 
Mary Baker Stallings, served in France during 
World War I. In 1919 he married Eva Ward 
and at the death of his father purchased the 
farm from his family. During his farming 
years he purchased the portions of the original 
farm that belonged to his aunt, Martha Jane 
Nixon, the Farmers Manufacturing Compa- 
ny, and the Norfolk Southern Railroad. 

Tommie and Eva Stallings willed the farm 
to their three children, Lester W. Stallings, 
Ruth S. Sovelius, and Maxine S. Wiggins. In 
1986 Maxine and her husband, Marvin S. 
Wiggins, purchased entire ownership. 

Submitted by Maxine S. Wiggins 


The Story family century farm is located 
approximately three miles north of the Cho- 
wan River in Gates County on Highway 13 
and 158. 

The Story family home. 

James Bennett Story from Southampton 
County, Virginia married Frances Ann Cross 
of Gates County on January 6, 1846. They 
bought land from her mother, Mrs. Charity 
Barnes Cross, and built a house on the Sand 
Banks Road about a mile west of the present 


Gates — Graham — Granville 

home. They were the parents of six sons and 
two daughters, four of whom (Duke, Molly, 
Edward C. and Peter) spent their entire lives 
on the family farm. One of these sons was E. A. 
(Duke) Story who lived to be 1 06 years of age. 

Mr. Story and his sons farmed approxi- 
mately 125-150 acres. They grew cotton, 
corn, peanuts and one year, rice. They also 
raised cattle, hogs, horses and chickens. They 
built the first silo in Gates County. In the mid 
1800s they built and operated a water pow- 
ered sawmill and cotton gin. In the 1 880s they 
built a steam powered sawmill, planing mill 
and gristmill just west of the present house. 
The family continued to operate these mills 
until the 1950s. 

The second and present family home con- 
taining seven bedrooms was built in 1887. 
The weatherboarding was sawed at the water 
mill and hand planed by James B. Story. The 
site of this home was originally the location of 
Mrs. Story's mother's home. Mrs. Charity B. 
Cross had lived at this location since 1 832. 

The family property consists of approxi- 
mately 500 acres of timber, mainly pine. A 
few virgin pines still stand. Hurricane Hazel 
in 1954 blew down 500,000 feet of these 
pines. Part of the farm was allowed to return 
to forest and only 54 acres are in cultivation at 
the present. Corn, peanuts and soybeans are 
grown by the current owner, Edward P. Story, 
a grandson of James B. Story. His son, 
Edward S. Story and family also live on the 
family land and he farms. 

Submitted by Edward P. Story 

Graham County 


My family first came into possession of the 
land on which our farm resides in 1 840. Abra- 
ham Wiggins took possession of the land by 
grant. From this beginning the land passed 
from Abraham Wiggins to his daughter, Lava- 
da Evyline Wiggins in 1874. Lavada married 
Harvey Hyde. They had two daughters, Mary 
Magdalene and Martha Hyde. Mary Magda- 
lene married George Thomas Roberts on Sep- 
tember 23, 1896. They had eight children. I 
was born Amanda Gertrude Roberts on June 
23, 1915, the youngest of eight children. 

Wilson Blankenship and his mules, 1946. 

The land has been greatly divided from the 
time of the original land grant. A portion of 
the original land grant was given for the first 
cemetery at the Old Mother Church, which 
soon will be 1 1 6 years old. The original grant 
extended from within the Robbinsville city 
limits past our current residence, which is two 
miles outside of town. 

On October 22, 1943 I married Wilson W. 
Blankenship from Madison County. At the 
time of our marriage Wilson was in the ser- 
vice and I remained living with my parents 
while continuing my career teaching in the 
Graham County school system. In 1945 Wil- 
son was discharged from the service and 
entered agricultural training. We continued 
living with my parents until Wilson, much 
through his own labor, built our house that we 
currently reside in. It was built from granite 
surface stone taken from out of Graham 
County and timber taken from our own farm. 
Our house was completed in 1951 and we 
entered our permanent residence. 

Through the years Wilson has continued to 
farm the land, clearing much of the original 
timber to make room for fields for our live- 
stock. We primarily raised Black Angus beef 
cattle, but the farm also supported a limited 
milk, poultry, and pork production. Also 
present on the farm were mules, standard 
bred plow horses, and Appaloosa horses for 
pleasure riding. The farm also contained a 
large vegetable garden which provided 
income as well as food for our table. In the ear- 
lier days a large amount of corn was tended as 
feed for the livestock. This practice was large- 
ly discontinued with the introduction of mod- 
ern hay harvesting methods. Burley tobacco 
was the only crop raised for cash production, 
with two barns used for drying the yield of an 
approximate one-half acre allotment. 

Through the years our farm has operated as 
a family farm with very little hired labor, as 
the majority of the work has been performed 
by my husband, myself, and our children. I 
continued my teaching career at Robbinsville 
until 1977 at which time I retired with 45 
years service. 

We have continued to express the impor- 
tance of the land to our four children, and 
have demonstrated this with our caring of the 
property. With the purchase of my sister's 
inheritance, we have retained approximately 
seventy-five percent of my parents original 
holdings to pass on to our children. It is my 
belief, and I hope the belief of my children, 
that few things have the importance of land 
and nothing is as permanent as land. 

Submitted by Amanda Roberts Blankenship 

Granville County 


This farm is a thirty acre tract of land locat- 
ed in southern Granville County, formerly 
owned and farmed by the late Anderson 
Fletcher Breedlove, maternal grandfather of 
the current owner, Daniel Anderson Hunt. It 
lies adjacent to a tract of about 1 00 acres for- 
merly owned by his wife, Alletta Usry 






— v . 

— , tW' 


Anderson 's Place farm, Franklinton, N.C. 

Breedlove, and both tracts were farmed 
almost as a single unit. 

The major crop was tobacco. Other crops 
included cotton, corn, wheat, oats, vegeta- 
bles, beef and swine. Today it has about 160 
pecan trees, 40 fruit trees, a small vineyard 
and about 1 5 acres in young pines. 

The original farmhouse, a log cabin, was 
built in 1 903 and enlarged to include a parlor, 
upstairs bedroom, dining room and kitchen, 
as the family of six daughters and one son 
came along. It was demolished in 1 982 and a 
new home built adjacent to the original site. 

Sales recorded: Martha Ann Usry Harris to 
Mary A. Harris Usry — November 2, 1882; 
Mary A. Harris Usry to Anderson Fletcher 
Breedlove — December 27, 1902; Anderson 
Fletcher Breedlove to Norma Shore 
Breedlove — April, 1937; Norma Shore 
Breedlove to Daniel Anderson Hunt and Jean 
B. Hunt — January 1975; and date of pur- 
chase by Martha Ann Usry Harris has not 
been determined at this time. 

Submitted by Daniel A. Hunt 


The James/Robert V. Blackwell farm is 
located in the Mountain Creek Community 
twelve miles northwest of Oxford, North Car- 
olina. The exact location is where the Buck 
Hart Road (SR 1 4 1 1 ) intersects with the Sam 
Blackwell Road (SR 1414). 

The Blackwell home near Oxford, N. C. 

James Blackwell, born in 1803, moved to 
this farm from the Oak Hill High School (now 
Camp Oak Hill) area where his father lived 
when he married in 1836. He first lived in a 
house still standing one-half mile northeast of 
the present homeplace at the present (1988) 
Calvin and Foy Blackwell Hart Farm. 

James moved to the SR 1 4 1 1 -SR 1 4 1 4 loca- 
tion around 1 850 apparently to be closer to a 
wheat and corn gristmill, his father John had 
built on Grassy Creek in 1801. A store was 
also located at this site on the edge of Grassy 
Creek, two-tenths of a mile southeast of the 
homeplace location. The millstones are the 
present steps to the Fred Blackwell house (the 
homeplace) and a picnic table top at a house 
built in 1 98 1 by Roy Blackwell within 50 feet 
of the old mill site on Grassy Creek. 

George Blackwell, a deaf mute, and brother 
of Sam, Fred, Roy and Lelia B. Williams ran 
a Texaco service station at the homeplace 
from 1 933 to 1 975. The first store (still stand- 
ing) was replaced by a cinder block store 
across the road that was run by Fred Blackwell 
after George Blackwell's death in 1975. 

James Blackwell ( 1 803- 1 880) married Pol- 
ly Ann Vass (1819-1906), June 1, 1836. 


James' brothers and sisters were Robert, 
Fleming, William, Samuel, John, Pomfret, 
Polly, Frances and Ann. James and Polly's 
children were Henry, Maurice, Richard T., 
Robert V., Rebecca, Mary Ella, Reubin, Rose, 
Mary, James and Betty. Robert Vass Black- 
well (1852-1943) and Lettie Eakes (1875- 
1933) were the parents of Robert Samuel, 
Lelia, Fred, Roy and George. Robert Samu- 
el's children were Violet (Coats), Bradsher, 
Rose (Wilson), and Lucy (Wright). Lelia's 
children were Duane (Kernakis) and Letty 
Ann (Morris). Fred's children were Betty 
(Coats) and Barbara (Wilson). Roy's children 
were James A., Robert P. and Gary. George 
was never married. 

Submitted by Fred Blackwell 


The Bobbitt farm, located on Hester Road, 
was purchased from W. White in 1 845 by Wil- 
liam Alexander Bobbitt. He and Jacksey 
Mitchell were married in 1842. The Bobbitts 
had six children: Phillip Sydney, India, Ella, 
Sarah, Delia, and Alexander Edward. 

L to R: Alexander Edward Bobbitt, Josie Shore Bob- 
bitt (son), and Annie Laura Turner Bobbitt. Man 
partially seen in background holding horse, Dixie, is 
Henry McGhee. 

Phillip Sydney was killed in the Battle of 
Gettysburg. Alexander Edward and Annie 
Laura Turner were married in 1885 at the 
Turner home. He added small acreages to the 
original farm. He served as Granville County 
Treasurer and was active in the Democratic 
Party and Banks Methodist Church. 

The A.E. Bobbitts had five children. They 
were Lelia, Willie, Brooks and Josie. One died 
in infancy. 

The farm was tended by the family until the 
death of Willie in 1965. It has been rented 
since then. Three generations of three black 
families: the Whites, the Fullers and the 
Taborns lived and worked on this farm. Four 
generations of the Bobbitt family have lived 
on this farm through the years. 

The farm home was occupied by a family 
member until 1981. Frank and Ruth Bobbitt 
Parrott acquired land from the family and 
live on a portion of the original farm. 

The present owners are Anne B. Murphy, 
daughter of Josie Shore and Gladys Blackley 
Bobbitt, and Ruth B. Parrott and Naomi B. 
Jackson, daughters of Lemon Brooks and 
Florence Moss Bobbitt. 

The buildings on the farm offered a never- 
ending source of pleasure for me as a child fif- 
ty years ago. They were: a steam pit for tobac- 
co, a tobacco grading and tying house, a 
tobacco storage house (formerly a tobacco 
factory), six tobacco curing barns, three ten- 
ant houses, a small house with a Delco plant, 


a smokehouse, a stable, a corn crib, a wash- 
house, a cow stable, chicken houses, two 
garages, a shelter for stove wood, a shelter for 
my grandmother's carriage and the garden 
house (privy with five holes graduated in size 
for three generations). For the adults, the 
buildings represented a never ending source 
of work, worry, and joy when things went 
well. They also helped preserve a continuity 
with our past. 

Submitted by Anne Bobbitt Murphy 


Records show a large tract of 4,500 acres of 
land owned by Colonel John Dickerson in the 
Fishing Creek township area of Granville 
County as early as 1754. A thorough search 
has not been made, but all evidence including 
location of this original tract indicates that 
the Jack Thomas Dickerson farm, now owned 
by his wife, Elsie Brooks Dickerson, was a 
part of this same tract. 

The verified records begin November 1, 
1 878 when Samuel Walker Dickerson, who at 
one time owned over 900 acres in Granville 
County, sold 139 acres to his son Andrew 
Jackson Dickerson. Andrew J. was a farmer 
and merchant until his death on March 1, 

When the Seaboard Coastline Railroad 
came to Granville County in the early 1 900s, 
he gave them a right of way across his land 
knowing that a depot in this community 
would be of great benefit to everyone in the 
surrounding area. 

Upon his death the land was divided 
among his five children. His sons, Carroll R. 
and Andrew F., received 52 acres each with 
Carroll R. receiving the tract of land that 
included the homeplace. The rest of the land 
was divided between his three daughters with 
them receiving money in addition to the land 
to make the division of the estate equal. 

In October, 1 952 Carroll R. sold the home- 
place and fifteen additional acres to his neph- 
ew, Jack Thomas Dickerson, and his wife, 
Elsie Brooks Dickerson. Jack Thomas Dick- 
erson died November 24, 1985 leaving the 
farm to his wife, Elsie Brooks Dickerson. 

All four generations of Dickersons have 
raised their families farming this land with 
tobacco as the primary cash crop. Other crops 
grown on this farm have included corn, grain 
and soybeans. 

These men took pride in farming as an 
occupation and enjoyed the work farming 
involves. The family hopes the farm will 
remain in the Dickerson family for years to 
come and that farming will always be a proud 
part of North Carolina's heritage. 

Submitted by Jack Thomas Dickerson 


This farm is located ten miles west of 
Oxford in the Culbreth Cross Roads Commu- 
nity in Granville County. The farm consists 
of 452 acres purchased by Simon Clement in 
1777 who came to this area from Amelia 
Courthouse, Virginia. Little is known about 
him except what can be learned from land 
deeds. He lived until about 1 820. That fact is 
derived from the deeds showing William 
Clement (1793-1 889), his son, as owner about 
that time. 

The Haney farm near Oxford, N.C. 

William Clement and his wife, Jane Gooch, 
had a number of sons and daughters. At his 
death his three unmarried daughters, Han- 
nah, Harriet and Mary, inherited the place. 
They bargained with their nephew, Edwin N. 
Clement (1875-1955) to live and care for 
them and to eventually own the place. At his 
death his widow, Linda Lyon Clement (1881- 
1969), owned the place until 1967 when she 
sold it to her husband's niece, Serena Mead- 
ows Haney, and her husband, J.B., who pres- 
ently owns it. 

As for the farm itself, it has been used over 
the years for the production of tobacco, food, 
fiber, livestock on a small scale and lumber 
and wood products. Due to present economic 
conditions, land is being taken out of crop 
production, planted in pines and other con- 
servation practices. It has not been given over 
to lot development for residential uses. 

To attempt to give a history of Simon Clem- 
ent's descendants would require a large 
volume. Some live in New York, Virginia, 
Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Cali- 
fornia and other southern states. They are 
regarded as law-abiding community leading 
citizens. Submitted by J.B. Haney 


On September 14, 1837 John G. Harris 
and James C. Cozart bought a tract of land 
from Samuel S. Downey. They registered it in 
the registry office of Granville County, Book 
9, page 63. After John Harris died, Amos F. 
Harris inherited the land in its entirety. In 
1932, Lillie S. Harris, the mother of Hunter 
Harris and Wallace Harris, bought the land 
from her husband's estate. 

In 1966 Hunter and Wallace inherited the 
land (112 acres) from their mother. Wallace 
sold his inheritance, but Hunter retained his. 
A portion of Wallace's land was purchased by 
his nephew, Amos H. Harris. 

Seventy years ago the public road went 
right by the house. At some point they moved 
the road up the river. Then Amos bought 27 
acres from his brother facing the new road. 
When they moved the road frontage again up 
the river further, Amos lost road frontage 

Sometime in the 1950s, the Harris home 
went on a petition with B.S. Murray the other 
way. Hunter has been everywhere trying to get 
a road. He has been to the ASCS office, but 
they say they can't help. 

There are five landowners that have ease- 
ment and use of the road, but Hunter is the 
only one that takes care of the road because he 
needs it to get to his farm. 



There are 26 century farms in Granville 
County. Hunter wrote to them and all except 
one has road frontage kept up by the state. 
Hunter has been going through Thad Carey's 
place for the last 70 years and now Mrs. B.S. 
Murray's son, Foy Murray, has cut a ditch 
with a backhoe so Hunter can't get in there. 

Hunter hasn't attended to the farm in the 
last two years because he can't get in except by 
walking and he is unable to do that. Hunter 
feels bad about the way he has been treated, 
but thinks there isn't anything he can do. 
Hunter has lost the road three times in the last 
seventy years. He didn't have anything to do 
with it. The state and county did it. The third 
time the road was lost Thad Carey's heirs had 
been using the road for 1 00 years. Thad Carey 
and B.S. Murray petitioned together with the 
Daniel's and got the road their way and left 
Hunter out. Hunter has been paying taxes on 
the land for seventy years, and he feels that he 
has gotten nothing for it. Everyone else has 
benefitted. Submitted by Hunter Harris 


Thomas D. Harris married on December 
10, 1850 and settled on a farm in Fishing 
Creek Township, Granville County, North 
Carolina. To these inherited acres he contin- 
ued to add to his landholdings until there were 
550 acres. At his death the land went to his 
wife and two sons, Henry Willis Harris and 
Edward Clark Harris. Henry Willis was an 
incompetent young man and his brother 
Edward C. Harris, looked after his interest 
until he died. At this time Edward Clark Har- 
ris inherited the entire farm, his step-mother 
having died earlier. Some time after Edward 
inherited the land, he sold off around one 
hundred acres. 

The Harris farm, Oxford, N.C. 

On December 1, 1886 Mr. Harris married 
Susan Barnes and they had eleven children, 
eight of whom lived to reach an adult age. Of 
these children only one remained on the farm 
to earn his living, Richard Watts Harris. 
Richard had three children and two of these 
children presently own around 350 acres of 
the original tract of land owned by Thomas D. 
Harris. These two are great-grandchildren of 
Thomas D. Harris. They are Richard Watts 
Harris, Jr. and Sue Margaret Harris King, 
both living in Granville County. Another 
great-grandson, Reid Barnes Patterson of 
Salisbury, North Carolina still retains his 
mother's share of this land. 

There is one very old building still standing 
on the home site. It is known to the family as 
the "old store house," having been used as a 
large country store and the Tabbs Creek Post 

Office. One room in this building was used as 
a schoolroom for the Harris children and the 
children of a neighboring family. A teacher 
was hired for four months out of the year and 
lived in the Harris home which was known as 
Hillcrest Farm. The two original home houses 
have been destroyed by fire in years past. 

The present owners hope to retain these 
acres. At present the land is being used for 
growing tobacco and small grain and a few 
head of cattle. Submitted by Richard Harris.Jr. 


When the Usries first owned this farm, 
corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, cane and vege- 
tables were grown. The original log house still 
stands made of hand hewed logs and chinked 
with the dirt from the farm. The arrangement 
of the house inside is quite unusual. 

According to stories passed down by family 
members, this farm was in the Usry bloodline 
way before April 1 8, 1 899 when Hanson Har- 
ris deeded it to Betty I. Usry. In 1889 it was 
deeded to Alletta Usry Breedlove and 
remained in her estate until November 6, 
1975 when it was purchased by F. Earle and 
Nan G. Hunt. Earle Hunt is the son of Addie 
Breedlove Hunt who was the daughter of 
Alletta Usry Breedlove. 

Submitted by F. Earle and Nan G. Hunt 

Mr. and Mrs. John W. Lawrence on the front porch 
of their two-story white frame house located on State 
Road 1 700 in Granville County. 


According to family and Granville County 
records, the land now owned by Alma 
Ormond Husketh (103.9 acres) and Craig 
Moss Husketh (47.5 acres) was a part of a par- 
cel of land purchased from the Earl of Gran- 
ville by William Lawrence in 1 756. 

County records show that in the 1 840s John 
P. Lawrence owned these acres. In 1 875 John 
W. Lawrence, his son, became the owner. He 
and his wife, Mary Eliza Clay Lawrence, built 
a two-story white frame house with the kitch- 
en in another building. He and his wife reared 

great-grandson, Edward Thomas Husketh, Jr. 
and his wife. Alma Ormond Husketh, bought 
the 1 54 acres in 1 947. She was a teacher until 

Continuing to produce tobacco and grains, 
the Huskeths repaired the outbuildings, add- 
ed a pond, and completely remodeled the 
house. They reared three sons (E.T. Ill, Wil- 
liam Ormond, and Craig Moss) on this farm 
known as the Lawrence Hill. E.T. Husketh, Jr. 
died in 1986. His widow and two sons reside 
on this farm located on State Road 1700, 
known as Brassfield Road, Route 1, Creed- 
moor. Submitted by Alma Ormond Husketh 

Halter Benjamin Lane, father of Ralph H. Lane, is the boy in front of the fence with his steer. 

eleven children on this farm, producing 
tobacco, grains, and much of their food. At his 
death John W. Lawrence left his property to 
his wife with the stipulation that the home- 
place at her death go to their unmarried 
daughters and a granddaughter. Soon after 
the mother's death, her son, Marshall V., 
bought his sisters' interest. Many tenants 
farmed this land until John P. Lawrence's 


From the early 1800s William James 
Mitchell owned land in Granville County 
south of the Tar River to and including what 
is now known as Mayfield Mountain. The 
Benjamin Franklin Lane family has owned 
land in the same area for a hundred years. 
These two families intermarried in 1917 

when Ruth Bryan Mitchell married Walter 
Benjamin Lane, my mother and father. 

These properties were located in Brassfield 
Township, Banks and Grove Hill United 
Methodist Church areas. The families being 
among the founders and members of both 

Over the years, there was a tobacco factory, 
cotton gin, wine press and private school 
along with the life-sustaining farm products. 
The tobacco factory was owned by my grand- 
father, Alonzo Mitchell, the drummer was 
Benjamin Franklin Lane, also my grandfa- 
ther. The products were sold or traded mainly 
in the eastern part of North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia. As a result, annually a herd of stock con- 
sisting of horses, mules, cows, sheep and goats 
would have to be driven by farm hands from 
the east to the piedmont for conditioning and 
resale. The tobacco factory burned in 1904 
and was not replaced. 

Presently located on this property are sev- 
eral of the original buildings. The Lane home- 
place built prior to 1 868, the old kitchen built 
prior to the Civil War, the smokehouse built 
in 1 882, a log barn built in 1919 and another 
in 1 940. There are, to my knowledge, seven 
freshwater springs with one tributary having 
the rock foundation for the kettle of a whiskey 
still, the sight dating back before any family 
member could remember. 

At an early age my interest in farming and 
forestry lead me in 1 945-46, at the ag~ of 1 1 , 
to plant my first pine seedlings on part of this 
land. Since that time through studying at 
North Carolina State University and training 
with the NCFS, I have made it my life's work 
with my family. As a result this land, some 
220 acres is still operated as a tobacco, small 
grain and tree farm. 

Submitted by Ralph H. Lane. 


The 1 843 Granville County tax logs report 
that John Pruitt Lawrence (1806-1887), who 
was married to Frances Bullock ( 1 809- 1 864), 
owned 550 acres of land in what is now Brass- 
field Township. Inexact property descrip- 
tions make it impossible to determine wheth- 
er the house built by John P. and Frances B. 
Lawrence around 1 840 was built on part of 
the 605 acre land grant that William Law- 
rence (great-grandfather of John P. Law- 
rence) purchased from the Earl of Granville in 
1756 or on one of the four tracts of land 
acquired by John P. Lawrence in the 1830s 
and included in the aforementioned 1 843 tax 

Nonetheless, the Greek Revival home built 
by John P. and Frances B. Lawrence in 1840 
still stands on a 290 acre tract of land which 
has remained in the family for four genera- 
tions, and maybe seven generations if the 
property could be traced back to the 1756 
grant. The Lawrences passed it on to their 
daughter, Virginia (1846-1934), who was 
married to Lewis H. Moss (1842-1909), who 
in turn transferred it to their daughter, Lillian 
(1882-1965) married to Edward Thomas 
Husketh, Sr. (1862-1935). The property is 
now owned by Robinette M. Husketh, the 
widow of their son, Ben Lawrence Husketh, 
who acquired it from his parents. 

Known as the John P. Lawrence Planta- 
tion, the 290 acre tract of land, the century 
farm land, has historically nourished its 


The John P. Lawrence plantation built in about 

tobacco and other crops and provided the set- 
ting for the two-story antebellum residence 
and its surrounding outbuildings, including 
the antebellum Greek Revival style smoke- 
house and kitchen. Probably the most unusu- 
al outbuilding is a one-room private school 
house whose structure suggests it was built 
shortly after the Civil War. It is known to have 
been used as a schoolhouse in the late nine- 
teenth century. 

The present farm consists of approximately 
50 acres of cropland — chief crops being 
tobacco, soybeans and grain — and 240 acres 
of timberland. Since the death of her husband 
in 1 98 1 , Robinette M. (Mrs. Ben L.) Husketh 
has rented the cropland to other farmers, but 
she remains actively involved in soil conser- 
vation and timberland management prac- 

This century farm, the John P. Lawrence 
Plantation, is located in Brassfield Township, 
Granville County, on SR 1 700 approximately 
one mile west of NC96. Though originally 
designated a century farm by its owner Ben L. 
Husketh, it is now owned by his widow, Robi- 
nette M. Husketh. 

The John P. Lawrence Plantation house 
with its contributing outbuildings was 
entered in the National Register of Historic 
Plans in August 1988. 

Submitted by Robinette M. Husketh 


Since about 1875 four generations of Mays 
have been landowners and farmers in Gran- 
ville County in the Pocomoke area on the 
same tract of land. 

Mrs. J O. May with daughters, Betty and Linda. 

In the 1 800s James (Jim) Thomas May and 
Samuel Thomas Davis married sisters, 
Amanda and Iola Jackson. They bought 
adjoining farms. The Davises and Mays cele- 

brated their 50th wedding anniversaries in 
the summer of 1 935. 

James Otis May, son of Jim May, and Min- 
nie Lee Broughton were married on February 
16, 1935. J.O. May inherited part of the S.T. 
Davis and J.T. May farms. He bought addi- 
tional land from Claude Garner and owned a 
total of 2 1 7 acres. J.O. May built his home, a 
country grocery and gas station, tobacco 
barns, storage houses, three ponds for fishing 
and irrigation. He planted tobacco, cotton, 
corn, soybeans and grain crops. In addition to 
cash crops he also planted truck crops and 
sold peas, beans, etc. Through the years, the 
May family including children Betty, Linda 
and Jimmy enjoyed growing gardens, fruit 
trees, fishing and hunting on their farm. 

J.O. May and Minnie B. May celebrated 
their 50th wedding anniversary on February 
16, 1985. They had six grandchildren. J.O. 
May died July 27, 1 986 at the age of 79. His 
wife continues to live on the farm as well as his 
son, James O. May, Jr. (Jimmy), and his fami- 
ly who have a home on their tract of the farm. 
Since the mid- 1 960s the farm was operated by 
the husband of Betty May Mitchell, Fred O. 
Mitchell. The farm is now divided into four 
tracts and Betty May Mitchell continues to 
operate her tract as a farm, and James O. May, 
Jr. plans to grow timber on his tract. Linda 
May Coffey has timber also. 

Submitted by James O. May 


In 1779 George Lain (Lane) Moore was 
granted 500 acres lying along the ledge of 
Rock Creek in Granville County by the Earl 
of Granville. This land has been in the Moore 
family ever since. It is located on the Stem- 
Creedmoor Road and adjoins the town of 
Stem city limits. In 1 779 there was no town of 
Stem but a stagecoach stop known as "Tally- 
Ho" was (and still is) located nearby. 

It is believed that George L. Moore had set- 
tled on this land some years before the grant 
was made. He came to North Carolina from 
England via Maryland. 

George Lain (Lane) left the place to one 
son, John, who lived on the land and reared a 
large family. He willed the property, includ- 
ing his slaves, to his son, Hester, who married 
Ann Eliza Whitfield from the Franklinton 
area. Two of their sons died in the Civil War, 
near Richmond, Virginia. The property was 
willed to their youngest, Henry Flavius, who 
married Louetta Clark. They reared ten chil- 
dren but he died in 1 924 leaving the property 
to his widow stating the land was to be sold at 
her death. She died in 1 952 and the children, 
all survivors, who agreed each to receive one- 
tenth interest in the property. The result is 
that now having bought the shares from oth- 
ers, Emma Moore Summers owns the remain- 
ing 208.8 acres with her husband. 

Submitted by Mr. and Mrs. George B. Summers 


Claude Aaron Parham was the son of Allen 
and Kitty Lewis Parham. Allen Parham was 
the son of Steven Parham, a slave. Allen was 
a small boy when slavery ended, and he 
remembered running around playing in the 
kitchen in which his mother cooked the 



L to R: Mrs. Julia P. Lottier, Mrs. Wanda L. Boone, 
Mrs. Mary I. Parham. Grandsons: Ryan C. Lottier 
(tallest), Shawn C. Lottier, and Claude P. Murrell 

Grandpa Allen, sometimes called Papa, 
was an ambitious farmer. He plowed a pair of 
oxen, raised corn, tobacco, cane, wheat, vege- 
tables, cows, pigs and chickens. He planted 
apple, peach and pear trees, as well as scup- 
pernong grapevine which still furnishes deli- 
cious grapes. He owned a cider mill and made 
good apple cider. In later years Papa replaced 
then oxen with horses and mules. One horse, 
whose name was "ole Annie" was hitched to 
a buggy and this was their means of transpor- 

Papa was always an early riser so he could 
begin to plow, clear the land and do other 
farm work. He and his brother-in-law would 
meet in the dark by a tree and one would say 
to the other, "Is that you?" 

Papa purchased land from Edd Harris, the 
Pleasants landowners, his brother, George, 
and Jane Parham, and other property and 
landowners in Oxford. Other land was pur- 
chased by my father, Claude, from his cous- 
ins, Thomas and Edd Parham, and rental 
houses were built. 

The Claude A. Parham farm consists of 1 23 
acres of land in the Antioch Community. 
Papa purchased a black auto in the early 
1920s. Allen and Kitty Parham were the par- 
ents of Claude A. Parham (1884-1949) and 
Julia Parham (1882-1917). 

They provided education for Claude, my 
father, who was a farmer, later a farm manag- 
er and a businessman with rental property in 
the city and county; and for their daughter, 
Julia, who taught in the public schools of 
North Hampton and Granville Counties. 

The family house which was built in 1 878 is 
still standing and has been remodeled three or 
four times within the past one hundred and 
eleven years. It is a two-story 1 4-room frame 
house with white aluminum siding, 2 bath- 
rooms, insulation, electric heat, air condi- 
tioning and a greenhouse on the patio. 

Some of the old farm buildings still existing 
are the smokehouse, the garage, the tobacco 
barn, the strip house, and the stable. 

My parents, Claude Aaron and Mary Eliza- 
beth Hamme, were married in a church wed- 
ding in 1 9 1 6 in June. My father conducted the 
family business and my mother taught in the 
public schools of Oxford, Granville and Wil- 
son Counties until her retirement in 1950. 
After my father's passing in 1 949, my mother 
saw that she was needed to carry on the busi- 
ness at home. 

My parents educated all three of their 
daughters who all earned their B.S. and B.A. 
degrees. The youngest also earned a Master's 

degree. Mary Irene Parham, the oldest, 
earned a B.S. in Home Economics at Bennett 
College and was the Home Economics Exten- 
sion Agent in Granville County, a first in that 
black position for 32 years. Julia Elizabeth 
Parham Lottier earned a B.A. degree in ele- 
mentary education at Fayetteville State Uni- 
versity. She was a teacher in Granville County 
and Cleveland, Ohio. Claudia Esther Parham 
Murrell earned a B.S. and M.S. degree in 
health and physical education and special 
education in Nashville, Tennessee at Tennes- 
see A. & I. State University. 

Granddaughter and grandson are gradu- 
ates of Tennessee A&I State University. 
Granddaughter Wanda Lottier Boone 
received a B.S. and Masters degree; and 
grandson Claude Parham Murrell received a 
B.S. from Tennessee A.&I. University. Both 
grandsons, Claude and Chester M. Lottier, 
are in business. There are three great- 
grandsons, ages seven, ten, and thirteen. 

The antique house has some antique furni- 
ture in it and this has been refinished by Irene, 
the present occupant. 

Submitted by Mary Irene Parham 


Since the mid-1 700s the Fuller name has 
been known near Cedar Creek around what is 
now the Granville and Franklin County line. 
Another well-known name to the area was 

Great-great-grandmother, Ann Kearney Fuller; 
great-grandfather, George Ruffin Fuller; and his sec- 
ond wife, Victoria Fuller, in 1910. 

Records indicate that Henry Fuller (great- 
great-grandfather) married Ann Kearney 
(great-great-grandmother) on December 23, 
1 857. From this marriage three children were 
born; George Ruffin, Emma, and Ella. This 
being during the days of the Civil War, 
Grandpa Henry became a Confederate sol- 
dier. He was mortally wounded with head 
injuries. When grandma Ann received the 
saddening news, she ventured into the Virgin- 
ia countryside on horse and wagon in hopes of 
finding grandpa Henry. Needless to say all 
was in vain. In despair, she returned home to 
her children never to know the fate of her hus- 
band. Many years later, even after her death, 
his grave was located in the Hollywood Con- 
federate Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. 

In 1869 grandma Ann purchased from her 
father, George D. Kearney, a parcel of land 
"120 acres" for $100 in Granville County 
near Pocomoke. Here she lived with the chil- 
dren, built a small log house, and farmed the 
land. As time progressed she built a larger 
house nearby which still stands. In later years, 

she married Tom Brinkley who was the wid- 
ower of her sister Susan. 

George Fuller married Emma Mitchell on 
December 20, 1885. They lived near Wilton 
and later moved back to his home. In 1895 
Emma died, leaving George with five small 
children to raise. Grandma Ann took charge 
and helped raise her grandchildren; Fleming, 
Burley, Lola, Audrey, and Lallie. The farm 
was officially bought by George on June 19, 
1912 after the death of grandma Ann. 

For a short while no family members lived 
on the farm. Grandpa George's children were 
grown and leading their own lives. Lallie mar- 
ried John Wesley Wheelous from the Grissom 
area. Audrey married Morton Bailey and in 
1 92 1 the " 1 20 acre" farm was sold by the oth- 
er children with Lallie and Audrey purchasing 
equal parts. Lallie's 84 acres included the 
original home site. Audrey's 86 acres includ- 
ed a fairly new tenant house. 

John and Lallie farmed the land with their 
five children: Adelle "Sister," John Jr. 
"Brother," Hortense, Ginnada and Correen 
"Mutt." The crops were mainly cotton, corn, 
tobacco, hay and vegetables, with livestock 
being cows, chickens, and hogs. The death of 
grandfather John in 1944 brought more 
changes. Their children also had gone their 
separate ways. Adelle married George Thom- 
as "Tom" Perry and they were tenant farmers 
in Franklin and Granville Counties. Grand- 
mother Lallie sold the farm to Adelle and 
Tom in 1945. 

Tom and Adelle continued farming and 
also raised four children: George Thomas, Jr. 
"G.T.", Kenneth, Joan and Sammy. In 1961 
Tom died and several years later due to eco- 
nomic conditions and changing times, farm- 
ing ceased to be the main source of income for 
the Perry household. Adelle sought employ- 
ment at John Umstead Hospital, and the farm 
was leased to E.T. "Chick" Husketh. Sammy, 
the only child remaining at the homestead 
attended North Carolina State University, 
served as medic in the Vietnam conflict, 
attended the University of North Carolina 
Surgeon's Assistant Program, and is presently 
employed as a Surgeon's Assistant in Oxford, 
at Granville Medical Center. 

Now, in 1 987 the farm still belongs to Adel- 
le. The farming operation has been converted 
to a forestry plan with most of the land being 
planted in pines. Adelle now lives in the small 
house originally built for her mother Lallie. 
Sammy "Sam," his wife Gaye, and their sons 
Kyle and Jeremy, live at the homestead which 
was built by great-great-grandmother Ann 

Submitted by Adelle and Samuel Perry 


My great-grandfather, J. T. Yancey, bought 
this farm for $500 for 250 acres. He then gave 
it to my grandmother, Elizabeth Yancey 
Royster, and my grandfather, Horace 
Royster, on November 3, 1883 as a wedding 

The land had a two-room loft house on it at 
this time and a three acre cleared field. My 
grandfather's daddy and uncle cleared one 
hundred acres with a mule and hoe. 

Elizabeth Y. Royster died September 30, 
1930. The farm then belonged to Horace 
Royster until his death on March 1 1, 1952. 
My mother, Fannie J. Royster, and father, 


Ray Royster and his grandson in a tobacco field. 

Raymond A. Royster, bought the farm from 
the Horace Royster estate February 12, 1953. 

Raymond A. Royster died December 31, 
1959. The farm then belonged to Fannie J. 
Royster until her death September 8, 1973. 
My wife, Alma D. Royster, and myself, L. Ray 
Royster bought the farm from Fannie J. 
Royster October 30, 1973. L. Ray Royster 
and Alma D. Royster are the owners now. 

This farm is 18 miles northwest of Oxford 
and 12 miles northeast of Roxboro. It sits in 
both Granville and Person Counties. There 
are 127 acres in Person County and 94 Acres 
in Granville County. 

It has always been a tobacco farm. We now 
have a 32 acre allotment. L. Ray Royster has 
not worked off the farm as a job. Ray Royster 
is third generation and his son, Gary R. 
Royster, is fourth generation and works on 
the farm also. There have been five genera- 
tions to live on this farm. 

Tobacco has always been the cash crop, but 
they raised grain and cattle also. Without 
tobacco, they couldn't make the farm pay off. 

Submitted by L. Ray Royster 


The exciting farm of Reverend Junious 
Moore Taylor and wife, Nannie Peace of 
Creedmoor nestled among Carolina Pines, 
Red Oaks and graceful White Elms. A shy 
crooked road tip-toed and twisted its lone- 
some trail to the Taylor's two-story doorsteps. 

Reverend Junious Moore Taylor. 

Granville — Greene 
Here the happy children, horses and herds 
of various other farm animals galloped, 
played and matured on land purchased by 
Taylor in Granville County (Dutchville 
Township) as follows: May 4, 1886 — three 
acres for $75, in cash; November 5, 1887 — 
25.25 acres for $300 cash; February 1 2, 1 898 
— 25.5 acres for $350. By the middle of the 
1900s his total acreage was some less than 

A Baptist minister and public school teach- 
er, J.M. Taylor taught his family by monthly 
Bible workshops in the home, daily school 
curriculum, accenting nature: elements of the 
sky and birds, rain, its function and destina- 
tion; home ownership, a MUST; forest pro- 
tection, the production of a vegetable garden 
by every child by making him the owner of a 
tiny plot of land with free seeds. 

As of today, only 13.75 acres have been 
deducted from the original. May 15, 1935 this 
plot along Ledge Rock Creek was donated to 
the new Creedmoor water system. 

Submitted by Manie Taylor Geer, daughter 


The Turner farm located on Highway 96 
between Wilton and Cannady's Mill Road, 
was purchased from A.R. Vann on July 28, 
1864 by L. Thales Turner. He was a farmer 
and a lay minister in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. He married Rosa Wainwright of Wil- 

Lemon Thales Turner, Rosa Wainright Turner and 
daughter, Annie Laura Turner, who married A.E. 

The Turners had one daughter, Annie Lau- 
ra. She married Alexander Edward Bobbitt in 
1885. She inherited the farm from her par- 
ents. Her farm was tended by her husband 
and her sons, Willie Norman, Lemon Brooks 
and Josie Shore with the help of four genera- 
tions of a black family — the Bowdens. 

Four generations of the Turner-Bobbitt 
family have lived on this farm during the time 
span of 1864-1933. The house was rented 
after that time. 

I have fond memories of taking a karo syrup 
bucket filled with water to my father in the 
field and going to the barns at night with my 
mother to see my father who was "sitting up" 
with tobacco. I can hear the night sounds and 
smell the hot summer fragrance of honey- 
suckle blended with curing tobacco even now 
— almost sixty years later. 

The present owners are Anne B. Murphy, 
daughter of Josie Shore and Gladys Blackley 
Bobbitt, Ruth B. Parrott and Naomi B. Jack- 
son, daughters of Lemon Brooks and Florence 
Moss Bobbitt. 

Submitted by Anne Bobbitt Murphy 

Greene County 


Since 1746 nine generations of Creechs 
have been landowners and farmers in Greene 
County. Benjamin Creech, Sr. came to 
Greene County in 1746 from Virginia. He 
received land grants of 266 acres from King 
George III. His farm was located near present 
day highway 91 between Snow Hill and Kin- 
ston. Benjamin Creech, Sr. left farms to all 
seven of his sons. One son, Ezekiel Creech, 
received landholdings on Rainbow Run in 
Greene County. His son, John Creech, Sr., 
lived in Lenoir County but inherited this land 
in Greene County. John had six sons and two 
daughters. One of John's sons, Starkey 
Creech, was deeded a farm on October 10, 
1 838 by his father, John Creech, Sr. This farm 
was located on Rainbow Marsh in Greene 
County. The old homestead of Starkey 
Creech and his son, Chris Creech, is still 
standing on Rainbow Run and still belongs to 
the Creech heirs. Chris Creech served in the 
Civil War from May 1 86 1 until the end of the 
war with the Greene County North Carolina 
Company A, Third North Carolina Regi- 
ment. Chris Creech had two sons and two 
daughters. One daughter, Lu Dora, inherited 
the farm from her father. Lee Dora left the 
farm to her son, Eugene Hardy, and he left the 
farm to his only child, a daughter, Sandra 

Sandra H. Garner homestead. Home of Starkey 
Creech and his son, Christopher. Sandra Garner 
lived in this house until 1956 when she was 12 years 

During all of these years the farm has been 
used by the Creech family for general purpose 
farming. It has been stated over the years by 
heirs of Chris Creech that he was one of the 
first seven people in Greene County to raise 
tobacco for sale. Today small grain, corn, 
tobacco, soybeans, hogs and cattle are grown 
on this century farm. It wasn't until 1 986 that 
modern day poultry farming was begun by the 
present Creech heirs, Sandra Garner and her 
husband, Jeff. They have two daughters, 
Lynn, age twelve, and Genell, age nineteen. 
Genell is majoring in agriculture in college 
and plans to return to the family farm to con- 
tinue what her ancestors began many years 
ago. Unless something unforeseen occurs, 
this land will continue to be farmed into the 
next century by the Creech heirs. 

Submitted by Sandra H. Garner 




James Edmundson, my great-great-great- 
grandfather was born before 1751 in what is 
now known as Greene County. He was born 
on this farm and died in 1799. His will is 
recorded on April 6, 1 799. 

\1/ \k N 

The old Bull Head Post Office as it looked in 1981. 

When the Revolutionary War started he 
joined up with the Dobbs County volunteers 
(Greene County today) and was a Lieutenant. 
They went to South Carolina to fight. While 
he was away the British crossed Nahunta 
Swamp (on his farm) and Lt. Edmundson's 
bull charged the "Red Coats." They killed the 
bull and hung up its head in an oak tree in 
front of Lt. Edmondson's home. This is how 
the name Bull Head came about. Today this 
area is officially known as Bull Head Commu- 
nity. It has been Bull Head, North Carolina, 
as there was a post office on this farm from 
May 2, 1 836 to March 30, 1 907. The old post 
office is still standing. 

The old Lieutenant Edmundson home was 
torn down around 1980. It had been put 
together by wooden pegs and I saved a few. Lt. 
James Edmundson and his son had over 8000 
acres. Lt. Edmundson left part of the Bull 
Head Plantation to his son, Dr. John Jackson 
Edmundson; he, in turn, left part of his to his 
son, John Jackson Edmundson, Jr.; he left 
800 acres to his son Andrew Jackson 
Edmundson. A. J. Edmundson became a state 
Senator, representing Greene County. In the 
late 1 800s, he lost most of the farm, but left 75 
acres, the old graveyard, and the old post 
office to his daughter May Edmundson Pope. 
She left this to my brother and me upon her 
death April 16, 1977. 

The Edmundson graveyard — on this farm 
— has seven generations in a row planted 
there. From Lt. James Edmundson to my 
brother's son. (My great-great-great- 
grandfather, my great-great-grandfather and 
wife; my great-grandfather and wife; my 
grandfather and wife; my mother and father; 
my father's brother who was killed in World 
War I; my wife's and my gravestones — wait- 
ing for us; and my brother's son who was 

This farm has been in our family since 
before the 1750s, although it has shrank a 
great deal. 

My aunt, who left me the farm, helped raise 
me. After spending thirty years in the United 
States Air Force, I came home. This is still a 
working farm — we raised tobacco, corn, and 
soybeans; and even today it is known as Bull 
Head Plantation, located in Bull Head Com- 
munity, Greene County, North Carolina. 

This century farm is registered under the 
name of John Ray Edmundson, Jr. and is 
owned by my brother, William Carlyle 
Edmundson, and me. 

Submitted by John Ray Edmundson, Jr. 


Since the 1700s the Edwards have been 
landowners and farmers in old Dahles, Glas- 
gow and present Greene County. A land grant 
was issued to Colonel Thomas Edwards in 
1753 on Fort Run, near Contentnea Creek, 
Bull Head Township. Because of fires in 
Lenoir and Greene County Courthouses, offi- 
cial records are hard to find. 

Henry Edwards inherited various tracts of 
land in the area. At his death, his widow, 
Lucretia Uzzel Edwards (1816-1 884), farmed 
the land. Three children were born to Lucretia 
and Henry, their youngest child William Hen- 
ry Edwards (1847-1890) inherited the farm, 
when he became of age. 

William Henry Edwards married Smithie 
Cobb. They had six children. After William 
Henry's death, a guardian was appointed for 
his minor children. When the children 
became of age, the farm was divided and John 
Lee Edwards inherited the Edwards home- 
place. He was born in 1 885 and died in 1 942. 
He married Orpha Hill. They had six chil- 
dren. Orpha H. Edwards looked after the farm 
after his death during World War II. In 1945 
the land was divided and Martha Edwards 
Croom inherited the Edwards homeplace. My 
husband E.E. Croom died in 1 984. The house 
is partially put together with wooden pegs. It 
is told that the house is over 200 years old. 

Corn, wheat, tobacco and soybeans are 
grown at present on the land. Several years 
ago cotton was grown and ginned on this 
farm. John Lee Edwards, my father, lost his 
right arm in the cotton gin when he was 21 
years of age. 

The Edwards family cemetery is behind the 
house on this century farm. 

Another Edwards family cemetery is near- 
by. Colonel Thomas Edwards is buried there. 
He was murdered by a slave June 23, 181 6. 

Submitted by Martha Edwards Croom 


The Forrest farm is located in Greene 
County North Carolina on Highway 903, one 
mile west of Scuffleton, five miles west of 
Ayden, North Carolina. Scuffleton was once 
known as Ridge Spring which was settled pri- 
or to 1756. 

William Forrest purchased the Forrest 
farm December 11,1 797, which consisted of 
100 acres. The boundaries of this farm are 
identified as being the same lands owned by 
Lemuel Forrest. The relationship of William 
and Lemuel is unknown, presumed to be 
brothers or cousins. Records do not reveal 
how Lemuel acquired the lands or the date, 
however, records show that Lemuel was born 
on the Forrest farm September 17, 1824 and 
died on October 10, 1870. Burial place is 
unknown. Lemuel married Betsy Hart. Lem- 
uel enlisted in the Civil War as a private in 
Greene County on October 10, 1862. He 
fought with Company C of the First Battalion, 
North Carolina Local Defense Troop. He lat- 
er transferred to Company C. of the 67th Reg- 
iment of North Carolina Troops on January 

1 8, 1 864. His son, Jessie Thomas Forrest, was 
born January 15, 1846 on the farm and also 
enlisted in the Civil War in 1 864. Father and 
son both returned to the Forrest family farm 
after the Civil War ended April 1 865. 

Jessie Thomas married Mary Jane Phillips 
June 1, 1866 and lived on the farm until they 
died; Jessie Thomas on May 23, 1895, and 
Mary Jane on March 8, 1 936. Both are buried 
in the family cemetery on the farm. Records 
show that Jessie Thomas served as justice of 
the peace at Scuffleton when it was incorpo- 
rated by the North Carolina Legislature in 
1 885. At Mary Jane Forrest's death, the farm 
was passed to her son, Doctor Roy Forrest. 
Doctor Roy married Katie Jackson. After 
Doctor Roy's death, the farm was passed to 
Roy Thomas "Bud" Forrest. Roy Thomas 
married Virginia Williams and they are now 
owners of the farm and reside on the farm. 
The farm will be passed to their son Thomas, 
who is married to Wanda Tripp and their 
heirs. Principal crops grown on the Forrest 
farm at the present time are tobacco, corn and 
soybeans. Cotton was a major crop in the thir- 
ties. Submitted by Roy Thomas Forrest 


On December 12, 1851 Jesse Frizzelle 
bought from Edward Carman 285 acres of 
land in Ormonds Township, Greene County, 
NC for $2200. In 1867 Jesse Frizzelle died 
leaving this farm to his children Henry, 
Owen, Mary, Margaret, John, Elizabeth, 
Nannie and Jesse Tedoc Frizzelle. Jesse 
Tedoc Frizzelle was born in 1851, and at the 
age of sixteen or seventeen, in 1 867, took over 
the operation of the Frizzelle Farm and by 
1871 had bought the shares of his brothers 
and sisters. Jesse Tedoc Frizzelle had four 
sons: Mark Twain, Jesse Paul, Jasper Brooks 
and John L. Frizzelle. Jesse Tedoc Frizzelle 
gave to his sons this and some other adjoining 
lands he had bought during his lifetime in the 
late teens or early 1 920s, but was not recorded 
until his death in 1928. Jasper Brooks (Jake) 
Frizzelle became owner of the "Frizzelle 
Home Farm" at this time. Jasper Brooks Friz- 
zelle owned and lived on this farm until his 
death in 1972. 

The Frizzelle home built in 1880. 

In 1 965 Jasper Brooks Frizzelle created the 
"J. Paul Frizzelle Trust" of which the "Friz- 
zelle Home Farm" became a part of at his 
death in 1972. This "trust" is the present 
owner of the "farm." The beneficiaries of the 
"trust" are Nina F. Edwards, Sophia Frizzelle 
Edmondson, Mary Frizzelle and the three 
children of Barbara F. Miler. At the death of 
Nina Edwards, Sophia Edmondson and Mary 


Frizzelle, the "farm" will go to the great-great- 
grandchildren of Jesse Frizzelle. They are 
Connie E. Edwards, Pete, Paul and Warner 
Miller, Nina Paul E. Vinson, Jack Edmond- 
son, Jr. and Virginia Mark E. Mohn. 

Jack Edmondson Jr., the great-great- 
grandson, is presently living on and farming 
this "Frizzelle Home Farm." 

Submitted by J. Paul Frizzelle 


December 30, 1871 Lucinda and Jesse Gal- 
loway purchased this farm from John Ber- 
geron. When their son John married Eliza- 
beth Walston it became their home. Lucinda 
and Jesse had paid $462.50 for these 92.5 
acres, but by 1882 it was given to John for 
"natural love and affection." 

This photo was made in the Galloway Farm lot in the 
early 1940s. Jesse Randal Galloway is standing in 
the background and William Jesse Galloway is 
beside calf. 

Here John and Elizabeth raised nine chil- 
dren. Their money crop was cotton but Eliza- 
beth was well known for herbs, flowers, and a 
variety of vegetables and animals. She even 
grew rice for her family. It must have been a 
lovely sight to see her peacocks strutting 
among her many crepe myrtles. When hog 
killing day came she flavored the lard with her 
rosemary and the sausage with her sage. 

By 1893 Elizabeth had inherited money 
from her father. She decided to purchase 59.5 
acres of adjacent land from William Bergeron 
for $238. 

John died from blood poisoning when he 
was only 45. Elizabeth continued to farm with 
the help of her children. Tobacco was becom- 
ing an important crop. This land was desir- 
able for bright leaf tobacco. 

The second son of John and Elizabeth, Jes- 
se R. married Carrie Rowland Lewis. They 
came to live with Elizabeth and purchased the 
farm. Jesse R. loved animals and was often 
called the "hog man." He raised registered 
Duroc hogs that became champions through- 
out the state. 

Jesse R. and Rowland added 74.5 adjacent 
acres in 1934. This had been Shackleford 
land. The price was $900. He continued to 
farm until he was killed in an automobile acci- 
dent in 1 965. For a few years Rowland rented 
her farm, but soon her son William Jesse 
returned to take over. The farm is now owned 
by William and his sister, Josie G. Loudensl- 

The seventies brought many changes. Wil- 
liam and his wife, Polly Kearney, began to 
implement a mechanized process with the 
tobacco. This required more land so they 
have added over 700 acres from nearby 

Greene — Guilford 
farms. They have a modern pig parlor which 
produces hogs for market. 

Through the years there have been changes, 
but there still remains a strong love of the 
land. William exhibits this by his award- 
winning soil conservation practices. Jesse had 
taught this by his daily ritual of returning the 
wood ashes and the apple cores he saved from 
his nightly snack. He was always saying, "Ev- 
erything must be returned to the soil." 

This love of farming has been shown by two 
great-grandsons of Jonathon Galloway, first 
son of John and Elizabeth. They have each 
been named "The Phillip Morris Outstanding 
Young Tobacco Farmer of America." These 
winners are Chap Tucker of Pitt County and 
Randy McCullen of Wayne County. 

Submitted by Josie G. Loudenslager 


James Abie Herring was born to Abie and 
Cuzzy Herring on November 1 , 1851 near the 
Cliffs of the Neuse in Wayne County. He was 
one of several children reared on a farm that 
experienced flooding of the Neuse River, 
which prompted James Abie Herring to con- 
sider a move to higher ground. 

James A. Herring and family, circa 1892. 

Around 1 869 land became available to him 
in the Shine Community of Greene County. 
After establishing a farming operation, he 
married Nancy J. Mewborn on July 1 5, 1 875. 
Between 1 876 and 1891, this union produced 
nine children, listed in order of birth: Willie 
R. (1876), James Erascus (1877), Annie W. 
(1879), James A. (1881), John W. (1883), 
Minnie P. (1885), Joseph C. (1887), Melvina 
(1889), and George B. (1891). Nancy Mew- 
born Herring died July 24, 1891, and was bur- 
ied in Mewborn Cemetery in the Jason Com- 
munity of Greene County. 

On May 1 7, 1 892 James Abie Herring mar- 
ried Elmetta A. Daly. Their union produced 
four children, listed in order of birth: Lester 
Franklin (1893), Fannie Pauline (1894), 
James Adam Cornelus (1896) and Charles 
Edward (1898). 

James Abie Herring died on December 8, 
1912 leaving the farm to his wife, Elmetta. 
Upon her death in 1 936 ownership passed to 
her eldest son, Lester Franklin Herring Sr. 

Lester added land to the original farm and 
in 1929 married Blanche Taylor. This union 
produced four children, listed in the order of 
birth: Lester Franklin Herring Jr., James 
Wright Herring, Joyce Herring (House), and 
Faye Herring (Carawan). Lester Franklin 
Herring Jr. died in 1978. The original home- 
place is still being lived in and looks practical- 
ly as it did when built in the 1 870s. 

The original farm, consisting of approxi- 
mately 270 acres, is still being farmed by 
James Wright Herring, who with his wife, 
Margaret, and two daughters, Katherine and 
Holly, live next door to the original home- 
place house. Submitted by J. W. Herring 

Guilford County 


The Ballinger farm in the Guilford College 
Community of Guilford County and present- 
ly owned by Emily Ballinger and Max D. Bal- 
linger was originally acquired by the Bal- 
lingers in 1 755 by a grant from England. The 
children of Max D. and Patsy Ballinger are the 
sixth generation living on the farm. 

Ballinger homeplace, built in mid 1800s. 

Farming on this property through the years 
included growing small grain, small fruits and 
vegetables along with poultry, dairy cows and 
beef cows. 

The present home was built in the mid 
1800s. An outstanding feature of the land- 
scape is the unusually large English boxwood 
in the front yard. The eighth plants which 
originally outlined the front walk were set in 
the 1 880s. They now have grown together and 
measure some ten feet in height. 

History tells us that on the morning of 
March 15,1781 the first fighting of the Battle 
of Guilford Courthouse began on property 
owned by the Ballinger family. 

During the time of battle, the Ballinger 
land lay directly in the line of march and 
camping ground of the British army. As the 
evening approached with the blare of trum- 
pets and martial music, Mrs. Ballinger turned 
the horses loose in hopes of saving them from 
the British. She hastily locked her small chil- 
dren in the smokehouse for safety and then 
made a hurried effort to remove from the 
house such articles as she could carry, among 
which was her prized pewter. Three trips were 
made to the nearby woods to bury this pewter 
and the third time such was the roar of the 
cannon and density of smoke she became 
panic stricken, lost her way and was forced to 
lay prostrate on the ground until the smoke 
cleared away before she could get back to her 

The Ballingers owned an inn which was a 
regular stagecoach stop on the Salisbury 
Road. Ten years after the Battle of Guilford 
Courthouse when George Washington visited 
the battle fields in 1791, his records indicate 
he dined at Guilford which was at the Bal- 
linger Inn. He ate from the pewter saved dur- 
ing the battle. The pewter and the walnut 


table from which he ate are now in the 
Greensboro Historical Museum. 

Submitted by Emily Ballinger 


The Clapp farm, located on Clapp Farms 
Road in Guilford County, is today farmed by 
fourth and fifth generations on the family. On 
August 19, 1845 Peter Clapp (1810-1891) 
bought 360 acres on the north side of Buffalo 
Creek in east central Guilford County for 
$600. At the time of this purchase, the City of 
Greensboro consisted of only one square 
mile, and by 1850 had an estimated popula- 
tion of 1 500. 

Edna R. Clapp still lives in this home which her late 
husband, J. Garland Clapp built with lumber cut 
from the farm. 

One of Peter's sons, Cornelius "Babe" 
(1865-1925), continued to farm his share of 
the land and purchased adjoining land until 
his death in 1925. The farm continued to be 
operated by his wife, Zula Andrew, and their 
five children until 1941 when the two eldest 
sons, Edsel C. (1901-1971) and J. Garland 
( 1 903- 1987) purchased the farm interest from 
the other three children and divided the 274 
acres equally, continuing to farm together 
until their retirement. 

Each generation living on the farm supple- 
mented the income from tobacco, grain, 
strawberries and melons by selling wood, hay, 
and other fruits and vegetables to customers 
in Greensboro. 

J. Garland and his wife, Edna R., pur- 
chased additional adjoining land in 1947. 
Their son, John G , \nd his wife, Gladys C, 
purchased an additional 100 acres in 1975. 

Today the farm, now consisting of 332 
acres, is operated as a family unit by John G. 
and Gladys C, in cooperation with their sons, 
J. Randal and G. Keith, all of whom reside on 
the original tract inherited by Cornelius 
Clapp. Their major crops include tobacco, 
wheat, grain sorghum, soybeans and hay. 

Recent farm improvement projects include 
construction of four irrigation ponds, field 
enlargements, construction of sod waterways, 
minimum tillage practices, timber manage- 
ment, and grain storage facilities. 

Each generation of the family has invested 
heavily in time and money in this treasured 
land with the sincere hope that it can continue 
to be farmed by the future sons and daughters. 

Submitted by The Clapp Family 


Since 1870, three generations ago, this 
original farm was in the name of Byrd Wash- 
ington Johnson and Martha Highfill Johnson, 
grandparents of Imogene Johnson Fields. 
Grandpa Byrd served in Company F, 54th 
Regiment North Carolina Infantry of the Civ- 
il War. He was taken prisoner in Maryland in 
1863, and remained there until Lee surren- 
dered to Grant. After returning home from 
the war, he married Martha Highfill. The 
farm supported both of them along with their 
13 children, of which Willis Edgar was the 

L to R: Charlie, Emily, Leonard, Imogene, and 

Willis Edgar Johnson and Grace Wilson 
married in 1921 and purchased a part of the 
original homeplace. On this land they built a 
home and supported three children, Willis 
Byrd Johnson, Louise Johnson (Styers) and 
Imogene Johnson (Fields). They raised tobac- 
co, hay, corn and a large garden. Although 
Willis Edgar never held a public job the fami- 
ly seemed to have all it ever needed. 

Imogene Johnson married Joseph Leonard 
Fields from Carthage, North Carolina, in 
1953, and they took over the care of Imo- 
gene's mother and father, Willis Edgar and 
Grace Wilson Johnson. Imogene and Leon- 
ard built a home and continued farming the 
land adding registered cows for additional 
income to tobacco production. 

Willis Edgar Johnson died in 1968 and 
wife, Grace Wilson Johnson, died in 1 972. At 
that time Imogene and Leonard inherited and 
purchased the farm consisting of 85 acres and 
continued to raise tobacco and cattle. In order 
to make hay and corn enough for the cattle, 
they leased additional land. 

Imogene and Leonard are blessed with two 
daughters, Amy Jo and Emily Grace. Emily 
Grace married Charles Thomas Fields. Leon- 
ard never held a public job, but considered 
farming his full-time job. 

The Fields family plans to continue the cat- 
tle operation and tobacco as long as tobacco is 
grown. God has blessed the family through 
the generations and by his grace the Fields 
hope to continue into the next century. 

Submitted by Imogene Johnson Fields 


The Johnson Farm is in the Stokesdale 
Community in the northwest corner of Guil- 
ford County. The farm has been in the family 
for over 1 00 years. 

Jack B. Johnson is restoring the Johnson homeplace 
so it can be his permanent residence. 

Burgess Johnson was the first Johnson to 
own the property. Burgess acquired the land 
shortly after the Civil War from his wife's 
family, the Highfills. 

Holly L. Johnson then acquired the land 
from his father, Burgess Johnson. Holly lived 
on the farm from the time of his birth in 1 893. 

Holly's son, Jack B. Johnson, is the present 
owner of the 71 acre farm. The farm is pres- 
ently used to grow tobacco and raise cattle. 

Jack B. Johnson is in the process of restor- 
ing the residence and will within the next year 
establish permanent residence at the home- 
place. Jack hopes to continue to use the prop- 
erty as farmland. Submitted by Jack B. Johnson 


I am the last of a long line of Guilford 
County farmers by the name of McNairy. My 
wife and I reside on our farm just north of 
Greensboro, North Carolina. We reared four 
children here. Our farm dates back to Revolu- 
tionary days, being farmed by members of the 
McNairy family since Francis McNairy locat- 
ed on Horsepen Creek in 1 762. 

My father was a direct line descendant of 
Francis, and every generation has lived on the 
divided and inherited sections of the original 
640 acres he bought from Herman Husbands. 
Husbands was one of the regulators who 
decided to return to Pennsylvania to live. He 
and Francis came from the Lancaster, Penn- 
sylvania area. 

My father secured 125 acres of Francis 
McNairy land. He bought and added adjoin- 
ing acreage. I was the only child of seven chil- 
dren who enjoyed farming, and I was fortu- 
nate to buy the farm after his death. 

I have grown tobacco, corn, hay and small 
grain. I operated a cooperative dairy farm for 
many years. I changed to beef cattle until 
health reasons caused me to retire. 

I have resorted to land leases with neigh- 
boring farmers, but still reside in my ancestral 
home. I look forward to my descendants 
retaining our acreage and farm as long as they 
can. My oldest son, R.W. McNairy, Jr. has 
two sons and a daughter; they live next door to 
me on this farm. 

I seriously doubt my descendants can con- 
tinue farming, as this farm has been annexed 
into the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Submitted by R. W. McNairy 


Thomas Payne, son of Robert Payne and 
Nancy Carter, of Stokes County, North Caro- 

Elm Grove farm, home of Thomas Payne and Oscar 

lina, and his wife, Mary Rebecca Foy, daugh- 
ter of .'ohn Foy and Rebecca Webster of 
Rockingham County, North Carolina, pur- 
chased from John Foy, 873 acres of land on 
Hogans Creek for $1,000 on 25 February, 
1854. On this farm they reared Mary Eliza- 
beth, Dr. William A., Washington Franklin, 
John Robert, Thomas Lee, Florence and 
Oscar Eugene. 

They had a separate kitchen which was also 
used to teach the slaves the three R's by their 
daughter Mary Elizabeth. Also located near 
their home was an ice house. They cut ice off 
the ponds from 1860-1942 to store for the 
summer to be able to cool the milk, make ice 
cream and for a cool glass of tea. The smoke 
house was later located over top the ice house 
where meats were stored. 

Tobacco was the main crop raised and plug 
tobacco was also manufactured. 

Sheep were raised to sell the wool and this 
wool was also used to spin yarn for clothing. 
Turkeys were raised as a special extra money 
project by the ladies. Pigs were raised for food 
as well as to be sold. 

Thomas died when Oscar, the youngest, 
was in his teens. Oscar married Sallie Jose- 
phine Neal. In the early 1900s the farm 
became known as Elm Grove Farm and was 
opened to northern hunters. Men came and 
stayed two to three weeks at a time. The farm 
was advertised as "Breeder of fine hogs, 
sheep, cattle, along with fine bird dogs trained 
and for sale." 

A sawmill was operated from 1 9 1 9 to 1 949 
with lumber being cut from the farm as well as 
surrounding areas. When *hey first opened 
22' timbers were cut for the town clock in 
Madison which was dedicated as a Memorial 
for the soldiers who had died in World War I. 

A dairy was operated with up to 50 cows. 
With all the animals including the usual 
chickens, this entailed the planting of lots of 
corn, wheat, rye, hay, oats and soybeans. Of 
course, the garden was planted with fruit trees 
to keep the family in good supply. Bees were 
kept for honey. 

In 1950 the Paul Davis Payne home was 
built with lumber that had been cut and dried 
from the farm's original Payne land. Having 
parts of three different divisions of Thomas 
Payne's land, Paul Davis Payne's acreage 
extends from Gideon Grove Church Road in 
Stokesdale, North Carolina, to US 220 in 
Madison, North Carolina. 

Submitted by Paul Davis Payne 



Our family farm history began about 1878 
when my great-grandparents, Isaac N. and 
Laura Payne purchased from the estate of my 
great-great-grandfather, William Welborn, a 
tract of land in Guilford County. Isaac, a car- 
penter and farmer, and Laura had six chil- 
dren. At the time of his death in 1914 Isaac's 
three sons inherited the farm. After some time 
my grandparents, John E. and Cleora Payne, 
were able to purchase the interests of the other 
two sons. As soon as he was old enough, they 
were joined in the operation of the farm by my 
father, John P. Payne. Up until the early six- 
ties we grew tobacco as the main cash crop, 
along with corn, hay crops, wheat, oats, and 
garden produce. For the last several years, a 
neighbor has grown about forty acres of soy- 
beans, corn, and wheat on our farm. We have 
a herd of approximately twenty Hereford and 
Angus cattle. 

Listed in the Guilford County survey of historical 
homes and buildings, this structure is the homeplace 
of John and Helen Payne of Guilford County. The 
house is said to be 150 years old. 

The family homeplace is estimated to be 
one hundred fifty years old, and it is listed in 
the Guilford County survey of historical 
homes and buildings. 

Submitted by Roger Payne for Cleora Payne 


The Walker W. Scott farm was a part of a 
land grant made by the Earl of Granville in 
1753 to the Nottingham Company. There 
were 33 plots of 640 acres in each lot or sec- 
tion. Historic Buffalo Church, one of the old- 
est churches in Guilford County, was estab- 
lished by the group receiving this land grant. 
Samuel Scott, Sr. was a member of this group. 
History of the Scott family and land is includ- 
ed in books on the early days of Buffalo 
Church. Records show that Samuel Scott took 
title to two sections along Reedy Fork Creek. 

John Wesley Scott's homeplace built in 1912. 

He had two sons. One of these, Samuel, Jr., 
took over the farm. 

Walker W. Scott's grandfather, Adam 
Walker Scott, lived and worked the farm from 
1831-1911. During the Civil War, Adam 
Walker Scott served the Confederate Army in 
the 5th N.C. Calvary. He was in the Battle of 
Gettysburg and later helped build bridges and 
clear roads. The Scott farm at this time 
included 300 acres from the original land 
grant. Adam's wife and two sons farmed the 
land. The farm produced cattle, hogs and 
sheep. When Adam was discharged from the 
army, he was given a mule to use on the farm. 

Adam Walker Scott gave one acre of the 
farm to Guilford County for a one room 
schoolhouse to be built on. This school served 
the community for many years. This land was 
deeded back to the Scott family when the 
school was moved to another location. 

When the railroad line from Danville to 
Greensboro cut through the Scott farm in 
1863, Adam sold the land northwest of the 
railroad and moved his home as far southeast 
as he could to get away from the railroad. In 
1911 Adam's son, John Wesley Scott, built a 
frame house in front of the old family home. 
This house stands today and was home to 
John Wesley's four sons and four daughters. 
All eight children married and raised families 
within'a few miles of the old homeplace. 

John Wesley Scott and his family grew gain, 
some tobacco and livestock. The family sold 
250 pounds of tobacco in 1919 for $1.00 a 
pound. In 1931 the entire one and one half 
acre tobacco crop on the Scott farm sold for 
less that $100. 

John Wesley Scott died in 1 929 and Walker 
W. Scott, his oldest son, inherited part of the 
Scott farm. Walker Scott built a home in 1 938 
in sight of the old homeplace. There are three 
sons and three daughters in the Walker Scott 
family. All have helped over the years with 
livestock, tobacco, and vegetable gardening. 
All have established homes in Guilford Coun- 
ty and bring the grandchildren to the farm to 
help at haying and gardening times. 

The Walker W. Scott farm consists of only 
fifty-eight acres out of the original land grant 
of over a thousand acres. It is a source of great 
pride that the land has stayed in the family for 
so many generations and that even though the 
city of Greensboro is very close, the farm still 
produces annual income from beef cattle and 
provides the grandchildren with an opportu- 
nity to experience "life on the farm." 

Submitted by W. W. Scott 


William (Shaver) Shepherd, Sr. was in 
Guilford County. Reverend Offman states 
that William Schaefer came to this area from 
Pennsylvania with the German group that 
founded the historic Old Brick Reformed and 
Lowe's Lutheran churches formed in 1748. 

William, the first of six generations, was 
born in Germany. He and Catherine are the 
parents of Conrad, born in 1741, died Febru- 
ary 18, 1843. 

Conrad, the second generation, farmer, 
also sold whiskey to the government and was 
register of deeds for Guilford County. 

Daniel, third generation, and wife, Mary 
(Polly) Wagoner, are the parents of Mary Ann 
Shepherd, fourth generation, born March 1 1, 
1831. Mary Ann married, December 27, 


Nellie Summers Nix and husband, William Fred 

1854, Peter Brown, born April 9, 1833, died 
March 31,1 904. Mary Ann died May 6, 1 9 1 6. 
Both are buried at Bethel Presbyterian 
Church Cemetery. Peter served during the 
Civil War and was wounded in Virginia. 

Fifth generation Eugenia Brown married 
January 1, 1902, Lacy Summers. Reverend 
C.A. Brown, pastor of Frieden Lutheran 
Church, performed the wedding at the home 
of the bride where she was born. The home 
was built by her parents, Mary Ann and Peter 
Brown in 1858. Lacy died July 21, 1955, and 
Eugenia died on her wedding anniversary, 
January 1, 1968. They are both buried at 
Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery in 
Guilford County. 

Nellie Summers, sixth generation, and her 
husband, William Fred Nix, have owned the 
farm since October, 1 945. 

In October 1959 the Shepherd-Brown 
house was awarded first place in competition 
for the most improved house by Sears, Roe- 
buck and Company of Greensboro, North 
Carolina. Unless something unforeseen 
occurs this land will remain to be farmed by 
the seventh generation. 

May 30, 1976 this home was on the "His- 
toric Homes Tour A Bicentennial Event" 
sponsored by the Gibsonville Bicentennial 
Committee and the Guilford County Bicen- 
tennial Commission. 

Eugenia Ann Nix and her husband, Alton 
Theodore Barber, Sr., built a log house on the 
farm in 1984. 

Submitted by Nellie Summers Nix 


Finley Stewart born 1 730, farmer and pio- 
neer, from County Down Northern Ireland, 

This house is on the 251 acre farm of John Stewart. 
A log house is enclosed. It was here in 1849. Most of 
the house was remodeled between 1890-1900. 


brought his bride, Prudence Shaw, to Ameri- 
ca about 1 763 as that is the date of their mar- 
riage. They settled two years in Pennsylvania, 
later coming to Guilford County in the Ala- 
mance Presbyterian Church Community. 
Here eight children were born. On December 
16, 1778 Finley Stewart received land grant 
No. 15 in Guilford County containing 640 
acres and signed by Richard Caswell, Gover- 
nor of North Carolina. 

We assume that Finley Stewart was a pros- 
perous farmer because in his will he left to his 
wife, Prudence, "all the horses she may 
choose, and one half of all the black cattle and 
sheep and all farming utensils she may stand 
in need of." We know that Finley Stewart 
raised oats, for he furnished oats to the Unit- 
ed States of America in November 1781. This 
record was found in "Accounts of United 
States With North Carolina War and Revolu- 
tion" Book A, page 85. 

When Finley Stewart died in 1 809, he left to 
his wife, Prudence, "as much of the planta- 
tion as I now live on, to be labored as she may 
think proper during her lifetime, and to my 
son John Stewart all the remainder of my 
estate whether real or personal." 

John Stewart, son of Finley Stewart, born 
1770, married Agnes Gorrell in 1803. John 
Stewart died in 1825 without a will, leaving 
eight children. 

After a large portion of the estate was allot- 
ted to his widow, Agnes Stewart, in Novem- 
ber 1825, the clerk of court appointed five 
men to divide the remaining 1222 acres 
equally among six living children. 

It is not clear where all this land is today, 
but on November 25, 1849 Robert Shaw 
Stewart, born 1820 and son of John Stewart 
and Agnes Gorrell Stewart bought from 
Joseph A. Houston 251 acres on the bank of 
Little Alamance Creek in Guilford County. 
Robert Shaw Stewart married Isabell J. 
McMurry in 1849 and settled on the above 
farm and raised six children. Robert died in 
1906 at the age of eighty-six. He had a son, 
David Curry Stewart, born 1 859, who inherit- 
ed the farm and lived and farmed there for 
eighty-five years. He died on the farm, which 
was operated as a family farm. He raised 
wheat, corn, oats, tobacco and livestock. He 
married Jodie I. Greeson and they raised four 
children. This century farm is still owned by 
the Stewart family, and John Henry Stewart, 
son of David Curry Stewart, lives on the farm 
and operates it. 

The above Robert Shaw Stewart had a 
brother, James A. Stewart, born 1810, who 
married Susan E. Gilmer in 1853 and began 
accumulating land near Alamance Presbyte- 
rian Church in Guilford County. When he 
died in 1890, he owned eight hundred acres 
all in one tract. He had one child, John R. 
Stewart, who operated the farm until his 
death in 1916. The farm was left to his widow 
and John Henry Stewart, son of David Curry 
Stewart. In 1 929 six hundred acres were sold, 
but John Henry Stewart still owns two hun- 
dred acres of century land that is being farmed 
with tobacco, corn, rye, wheat, soybeans and 
hay. Submitted by John H. Stewart 


Wagoners have been farming the land in 
Guilford County for over 200 years. John 
Wagoner, farmer, was born in 1794. There 

John B. Wagoner in the corn field. 

must have been at least one more generation, 
since John's birthplace was Guilford County. 
His son, Simeon, is listed in the 1860 census 
as being a 32-year-old farmer. He was also a 
brick maker, using clay from the farm, and 
three of his sons were "harnysmaker," distill- 
er, and tanner. One son, John Valentine Wag- 
oner, continued to farm a portion of the land. 
His youngest son, J. Irvin Wagoner, showed 
an early interest in continuing the farming 
tradition. As a teenager he bought one of the 
first grain binders in the area. 

After graduating from N.C. State Universi- 
ty, J.I. Wagoner married Eunice Homewood 
of an outstanding Alamance County farm 
family, and they returned to Guilford County 
to settle on part of the Wagoner farm. Their 
combined last name gave the farm its name, 
Wagwood Farms, and they carried on an 
active farming operation throughout his 32 
years as Guilford County agricultural agent. 
Many of the practices he recommended to 
area farmers he had already tried on his farm. 
He experimented with crops to find varieties 
that would grow well and with new products 
to determine effects and procedures. He also 
found ways to benefit others through mainte- 
nance of a dairy bull for upgrading of herds 
and joint ownership of equipment for more 
efficient harvesting. He was a charter member 
of the N.C. Crop Improvement Association, 
growing North Carolina certified seed, and a 
charter member of the North Carolina Seed 
Foundation as one of the first growers of 
hybrid seed corn. In 1938, at the age of 15, 
sons, John and Fred, added a new farm crop, 
Christmas trees. 

John B. Wagoner joined his father after 
World War II as the first full-time farmer in 
the family in several generations. In 1963 
Wagwood Farms was incorporated, with 
stock issued to J.I. and Eunice H. Wagoner 
and to their children, Margaret Ellen W. Mor- 
gan, John B. Wagoner, Fred H. Wagoner and 
Paul M. Wagoner. John continues in seeds 
and Christmas trees, and now his son, Bryan, 
is beginning as a seventh generation farmer 
on some of the same land that his ancestors 
started to farm in the 18th century. 

Submitted by Rebecca F. Wagoner 

Halifax — Harnett 

Halifax County 


"In the name of God, amen. I, James 
Moore, of the county of Southampton, Vir- 
ginia, being of sound mind and memory, 
thanks to Almighty God for the same, do 
make and ordain this, my last will and testa- 
ment, in the manner following that is to say . 
. ." Thus began the will of James Moore dated 
March 15, 1775. 

Among the heirs to receive land in Halifax 
County was a son, James Moore, Jr., (1765- 
1851) who was married to Martha Williams, 
Sally Lowe, and Mary Council, and who 
fought as a privateer in the Revolutionary 
War. He was one of the earlier Moores to be 
buried in the Moore family cemetery on the 
farm. He divided most of his property among 
his eleven children; however, his homeplace, 
"Sycamore Alley," was left to two grandchil- 
dren, James Moore, 111(1841-1905) who was 
married to Ann Little and Thomas Graham 
Moore ( 1 846- 1 885) who was married to Jose- 
phine Stallings. 

In 1886 an uncle, Bartholomew "Bat" Fig- 
ures Moore (1801-1879) who was married to 
Louisa Boddie and Lucy Boddie, was the 
Attorney General of North Carolina, and for 
whom Moore Square in downtown Raleigh 
was named, purchased a large portion of 
"Sycamore Alley" land from other heirs. He 
then willed this additional land to nephews, 
Thomas Graham Moore and Dempsy Pitt- 
man Moore (1857-1918) who was married to 
Carrie Wooten. 

By 1912 Auburn Moore Bloomer (1874- 
1953) who was married to Annie Maud Dra- 
per and his brother, Hugh Bloomer (1876- 
1958) who was married to Sallie Angelina 
Draper, nephews of Thomas and Dempsy, 
had purchased 736 acres of the Moore origi- 
nal "Sycamore Alley" land from their uncles. 
Hugh and Auburn divided the acreage 
between them and began farm operations. 
Although Auburn's health failed, Hugh 
astutely and quite successfully bought more 
land and conducted a highly organized and 
self-sufficient farm operation that was to con- 
tinue for nearly 50 years. 

In its heyday so complete were the farm 
activities that the only outside purchase for 
the family and the many farm workers was 
that of salt and sugar. The rich, loamy soil 
produced bountiful crops of tobacco, pea- 
nuts, cotton, corn, soybeans and small grains, 
as well as, vegetables, fruits and nuts year 
after year. Even before electricity came to 
rural North Carolina, this farm used its own 

"Mr. Hugh" was a progressive, venture- 
some, confident, highly intelligent man who 
built a 1 200 acre estate that stands tall in the 
memories of those who knew him. The lovely 
homeplace which he built in 1914 sits among 
ancient oak trees under which large numbers 
of relatives and friends enjoyed his well 
known barbecues and fellowship. 

Today part of the Auburn and Hugh 
Bloomer property is owned by Robert Bloom- 
er Fleming, who is married to Diane Gay 
Price (see Price Farm since 1833) and Wil- 
Tiam Harrison Fleming, who is married to 
Janice Leah Joyner. Robert and William, 
"Bob" and "Bill," identical twins, own and 

operate 370 acres of the original "Sycamore 
Alley" property. They are the grandsons and 
great nephews of Auburn and Hugh, respec- 
tively. Submitted by Robert B. Fleming 


James H. Garner was born February 12, 
1 867. He was in the service with the 32 Infan- 
try Division CSA. He was the father of five 
children by his first wife. She died in 1881. 

The Garner home in 1951. 

On February 1 3, 1 883 he married Eliza W. 
Garner. There were two children born to 
them, his second marriage: Archer Lee Gar- 
ner and Jessie R. Garner. James H. Garner, 
bought the first land in 1 868, all being in Hali- 
fax County. 

In 1 8 78 he purchased land in Halifax Coun- 
ty. Besides farming this land, he owned and 
operated a cotton gin on this land. James H. 
Garner died in 1 89 1 , leaving two children for 
Eliza to raise and care for. Archer L. Garner 
and Jessie R. Garner were not old enough to 
remember their father. After his death, Eliza 
looked after the farm as long as she could, and 
then had to depend on sharecroppers until her 

Claude W. Garner, the present owner, was 
a sharecropper until her death. Claude's 
father, Archer L. Garner purchased the farm 
shares from his brothers and sisters and sold 
the farm to me, Claude W. Garner, on Janu- 
ary 16, 1962. 

All of this family was born in a four room 
house. Claude was born here. Claude has one 
son, Fred W. Garner, living on this farm now 
who will be taking it over when Claude retires. 
Fred is very much interested in keeping the 
farm in the Garner family and maintaining 
interest in farming. He is married and has two 
boys. Submitted by Claude Garner 

Harnett County 


Fred Junious and Sue Walker Denning, liv- 
ing on Rt. 2, Angier, maintain a farm passed 
through generations dating back to as early as 
1 796. Due to the loss of records 1 796 is the 
earliest documented reference to the farm, 
beginning with Joel Denning. Descendants 
are Joel Denning, Jr., Andrew Washington 
Denning, Floyd Denning, and the Fred 
Junious Denning family. Their children are 
Debra Denning Stephens, Dona Denning 
Aponte and Danny Fred Denning. Debra and 
Tommy Stephens and their children, Kacey 
Lynn Partin (from previous marriage), 
Thomas Gilmore Stephens, Jr. and Daniel 
Lee Stephens are now residing on the farm in 

L to R: Ben Denning's wife, Annie, and son Namon, 
Floyd Lundy Denning, ZillieAnn, widow of Andrew 
Washington and William Arthur Denning. 

the house that was built prior to the Civil War. 
The house is constructed of hewn boards of 
heart pine and the nails that were made back 
in the 1800s. 

Fred Junious and son, Danny Fred, contin- 
ue the farming tradition. The farm's irriga- 
tion pond was originally smaller, fed by a 
stream and enclosed by a rail fence and sur- 
rounded by a mulberry grove for livestock 
use. One of the family cemeteries is located on 
this section of the farm. The earliest intern- 
ment was in the early 1800s. 

It is believed that this farm was the first one 
in the area to grow tobacco. Wood was used 
for many years for curing, later oil was used 
and now LP gas is used. 

Many eastern North Carolina Denning 
family members can trace their history to this 
farm and its original land tracts. 

Submitted by F. Junius Denning 


This century farm, "the Fuquay Place" is 
located on Northington Road in Harnett 

William (Billy) M. Fuquay is said to have 
been a large landowner in Harnett County. It 
is uncertain what year he came to this location 
from Fuquay Springs. The word has been 
passed down that Fuquay Varina is in part 
named for his brother, David. 

Earliest deed books were destroyed by a fire 
in Harnett County. From the oldest records 
available, it is shown W.M. Fuquay deeded 
130.5 acres to a son, George David Fuquay, 
June 26, 1 873 for $50. G.D. and wife Cather- 
ine had eight children born on this farm: Lula, 
Sallie, Mattie, Allen, Sival, Chaffin, George 
and John. A devoted family, siblings 
remained on the farm to work with their aging 
parents — some never marrying. 

Wheat, corn, other grains and cotton were 
grown, and later tobacco. With exception ol 
coffee and sugar, little was purchased food 
wise. Animals were raised for that purpose as 
well as assorted fruits. A tar kiln was once 
located on the farm. Also, herb gardens and 
the woods produced roots, leaves and seed foi 
medicinal purposes. 

Health and other misfortunes required the 
sale of acreage through the years, as well as ar 
amount deeded to a married daughter some 
time after the death of George D. Fuquay ir 
1924. This undivided farm continued in 
operation by his children and descendant; 
until 1960s at which time it was leased. 

With the death of the last surviving sibling 
Sival Fuquay, the farm was sold in 1 980 witr 


the exception of 12.10 acres, the old home- 
place and the farm buildings. 

This is retained and "let out" in combina- 
tion farming, this 1987, by owner Thelma 
Fuquay Parrish — granddaughter of George 
D., daughter of John, niece of others men- 
tioned. She was reared here — roots are deep, 
for she loved the people and the land too 
much to part with it — this small century 
farm. Submitted by Thelma Fuquay Parrish 


The genesis acreage for the Johnson centu- 
ry farm was from a land warrant issued to 
Tapley Johnson, Sr. on May 18, 1870. This 
warrant was for 200 acres located in present 
day Harnett County, then part of Cumber- 
land County. Over the next 20 years through 
additional grants end purchases, he increased 
this acreage to a total of 1 240 acres. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph L. Johnson August 1987 in front 
of the Johnson farm homec. 1918. 

Tapley Johnson, Sr.'s oldest son, William, 
and his wife, Goodwin Carter, had one child, 
Willis, who married Narcisses Spence. Their 
only son, Robert Timothy Johnson, was my 
father. He was deeded as his inheritance the 
620 acres that is the Johnson century farm 

In 1917 our mother, nee Ottie Mae Utley, 
died leaving my father with seven children, 
ages two months to 1 6 years. My father saw 
that all of the children received a college edu- 
cation, one becoming a doctor, one a pharma- 
cist, one a dietitian, two teachers, and two 

In 1933 after graduating from N.C. State 
College, I returned to the farm at the height of 
the depression to help my father, and 
assumed all duties. In 1939 I married Goldie 
M. Rowland (died 1978) and brought my 
bride to the farm. Besides the crop farming, 
we raised chickens, turkeys, hogs, cows, and 
timber and ran a commissary that my father 
had opened in 1897 for the tenant farmers 
who lived on the land. 

In 1 950 at the age of 85, my father died. As 
my part of the estate, I received this farm 
which I am still operating on a share crop 
basis. The main crops are tobacco, soybeans, 
corn, and I keep about 24 head of cattle for 
pasture grazing. 

I have two sons and it is my hope that this 
farm will be farmed into the next century by 


them and by their sons. 

Submitted by Ralph Leon Johnson 


Soon after the Revolutionary War, James 
Champion acquired himself a wife, Temper- 
ance and seven hundred acres of land, located 
on the waters of Parker's Creek at the ford of 
Northington Road, with the Raleigh Road 
dividing the plot in now northern Harnett 
County. He built his family a log cabin and 
had one son, James. 

This log cabin which stands today is one Robert Kin- 
ton lived in as a boy. 

Progress changed the road and young 
James II moved the log cabin from one knoll 
to another knoll where it remains until today, 
with the eighth generations children playing 
there. Two lean-to sheds were added to the 
cabin and a kitchen approximately 50 feet 
east of the cabin with a large cooking fire- 
place. About 1909, the lean-to sheds were 
removed and four larger rooms were built on 
the south and west of the cabin. Again, the 
road was changed and the back became the 
front, so a porch was built reaching across the 
front and side toward the kitchen with a small 
porch room (without a window) at the end. 

The family water supply had been a spring 
and a well was dug by the road to accommo- 
date travelers and their animals as well as the 
family. The barns also were near the new road 
reached by all comers before the house came 
into view. 

Each generation has added and subtracted 
to the house. There are ten rooms now and the 
tiny spiral stairway to the attic, outside kitch- 
en, and roadside barns are gone and a new 
well has been bored. Robert Kinton from Vir- 
ginia married Katherine Champion and now 
their daughters and grandchildren return to 
enjoy the house, fields and woodlands, wel- 
coming any cousins who have found city life 

More acres were added and the land was 
divided as time passed, being farmed all the 
while. New houses have dotted the landscape. 
Several hundred acres remain in the family 
with a variety of names: Abernathy, Austin, 
Champion, Cutts, Houck, Kinton, Sears, Ste- 
phenson, and Williams. All are grateful for 
the zeal expressed in the lives of James and 

Submitted by Katharine Champion Kinton 


The Joseph Marion Langdon family got its 
start in Harnett County on September 28, 
1881. Joseph bought 60.75 acres in two tracts 
of land on that date. He was born in Johnston 
County on August 21,1 860. His father, a sol- 
dier in the Confederate Army, died in Scotts- 
ville, Virginia in April of 1863 of "pneumo- 

The Langdon farm taken in 1984. 

On December 15, 1881, Joseph married 
Susan Elizabeth Denning. From 1883 until 
1 892 she bore five children. She died October 
11, 1894 at the age of 33. 

In February of 1895 Joseph married Sally 
Ann Cobb, who had five children from 1896 
to 1906. Three reached adulthood. She died 
May 6, 1 926 at the age of 60. 

For his third wife, Joseph married Martha 
Barbour. She outlived him. 

From that first purchase in 1881 until his 
death on May 17, 1936, Joseph eventually 
owned 341 acres of land. He never moved 
from this land. After his death, the farm was 
split into eight shares. Seven of these are still 
owned by Joseph's grandchildren and great 

Daywood E. Langdon, a grandson, owns 
two shares. With his son, Dudley Langdon, 
and his son-in-law, Cecil Stephenson, they 
farm all seven shares. Tobacco, corn, beans 
and beef cattle are their main interests. Day- 
wood bought one share from his father, 
Dester, and inherited the other. He plans to 
pass them on to his sons, Kent and Dudley, so 
part of Joseph's farm will be Langdon land for 
a good while yet. 

Submitted by Daywood E. Langdon 


For over 200 years descendants of Richard 
Smith have enjoyed the fruits of the farm 
deeded to him on February 19, 1783 lying on 
both sides of Neil's Creek — "In consider- 
ation of one hundred twenty-five pounds." 

A pen and ink drawing of the Smith homeplace. 

Many descendants of this family continue to 
live in this area between Hector's Creek and 
Neil's Creek in northern Harnett County. At 
that time, Harnett County was a part of Cum- 
berland County. Seven generations of Smiths 
have farmed this area. 

Arthur, son of Richard, owned lands "lying 
on the waters of Hector's Creek." In 1 833 Cal- 
vin, son of Arthur, purchased lands lying on 
Cooper's Branch (between Neil's Creek and 
Hector's Creek) for one dollar per acre. Cal- 
vin sold to his son, John, in 1870, 295 acres 
for $350.00. On September 22, 1885 John 
sold to his brother, Elmond, these 295 acres 
for $1,000. Elmond and wife, Nancy Cather- 
ine Matthews Smith, sold 245 acres lying east 
of Bettie's (their daughter) 50 acres, to his son, 
Waylon Francis Smith in November 1906 
retaining their lifetime rights. 

The Calvin Smith homeplace was remod- 
eled by Elmond and Waylon; later by Waylon 
and his wife, Anna Lanier Smith. The house 
was built from timbers from the forest and 
stones found on the land. Of necessity, the 
farms were self-sufficient. One could find 
stored in the smokehouse a spinning wheel, a 
loom standing in the stable of the mule barn, 
nearby an old log kitchen used for the cows, a 
carpenter's shelter near the house and a wood 
shed, down a path a blacksmith's shop and 
tobacco barns, not far away the family ceme- 

Waylon and family tended cotton, grains 
and some tobacco. Because of the wilt in the 
tobacco around 1918 farmers from Granville 
County began to move into the area. Produc- 
tion of tobacco was increased until the farm 
had three sharecroppers. 

Waylon's farm was divided in 1946 and 
deeded to his seven heirs. The families of 
Waylon F. Jr. and DeLorese Smith Caviness 
continue to live on the farm. Thomas Lee 
Caviness, husband of Delorese S., has tended 
part of this farm and an adjoining farm pur- 
chased by them for fifty years. Thomas L., 
now retired, rents the farm to a "big" tobacco 

Two portions of the century farm and the 
adjoining farm are willed to Thomas Lee 
Caviness, Jr. and wife of Williamsburg, Vir- 

Submitted by DeLorese and Thomas L. Caviness 


In 1 938 Hoke and Dot Smith moved to the 
Neil A. Smith farm. They moved into the 
house they call home today. They started 
farming the old fashion way. Great changes 
have come about since then. 

In 1872, Hoke's grandfather and his broth- 
er, Jim Smith, purchased 305 acres of land 
from Caroline Matthews Bradley. Caroline 
had inherited this from her parents who had 
been granted several hundred acres from the 
King of England. Later, Jim sold his part to 
Neil, who had purchased several other tracts 
of land. Neil died in 1925. His youngest son, 
Orvis, inherited the Bradley tract. Hoke and 
Dot bought this land from him in 1 960. They 
have two other farms. 

When Neil bought the land there was an old 
kitchen type house located on the farm. It 
became the family dwelling. 

A new house was built in 1883. Hoke and 
Dot's children: Susan Smith Vincannon and 
Kathryn Smith Bradley were reared here. 

Harnett — Haywood 

Hoke has restored the old kitchen which is 
near the "big house." 

In 1880 Neil Smith bought a cotton gin, 
gristmill and sawmill from Caroline M. Brad- 
ley and family. They had to pack the bales of 
cotton with their feet. Only two or three bales 
were ginned a day. 

In 1890 he built a large country store in 
Kipling. He had groceries, farm equipment, 
cloth, stockings, shoes and even kept instru- 
ments for pulling teeth. He pulled quite a few. 
He was known as the man who could doctor 
anything. In 1 926 Hoke's father, Reid Smith, 
took over the operation of the store. He ran it 
until 1 954. Hoke took it over and ran it until 

The farm was in constant operation all of 
this time (thanks to Dot). They grow or have 
grown tobacco, cotton and small grain 
through the years. 

Another side of this story is that Carolina 
Bradley was the sister of Melissa Senter's 
father. Melissa Senter is the maternal grand- 
mother of Hoke. The land had been in her 
family two generations before Neil Smith 
bought it. 

Hoke and Dot celebrated their 50th wed- 
ding anniversary October 16, 1987. 

Submitted by Hoke and Dot Smith 


This farm has been in the Betty Hobson 
Johnson family since 1851, 1859, and 1860. 
The family has the old handwritten deeds. It 
has been passed down four generations and is 
small now. 

Floyd Johnson on porch. Betty Ann Johnson, Wil- 
liam Corby Johnson and friends. 

Ferney Tart deeded the land to his son, 
Nathan Tart, and his brothers and sisters. 
Then the land was deeded to Phoebe Tart 
Hobson, mother of Betty Hobson Johnson, 
and her brothers and sisters, ten of them. Now 
the land belongs to Mary Hobson Bullard and 
Betty Hobson Johnson. Betty's mother and 
father bought two shares. 

Betty has a small farm now of 36 acres. 
Mary Hobson Bullard, Betty's sister, owns 25 
acres. She has no children, but it will stay in 
the family. 

Betty has three children, Nathan Floyd 
Johnson, Betty Ann Johnson Jackson and 
William Corby Johnson. Betty's husband was 
Floyd Johnson. He died in January 1984. 

Betty still lives in the house. It is over 100 
years old. She has done a lot of work on it. Wil- 
liam Corby Johnson lives here and farms. 
They will own the land and farm it right on. 
We have tobacco, corn, sweet potatoes, hay 

and soybeans. 

Submitted by Betty Hobson Johnson 

Haywood County 


Robert Rogers was the son of Hugh and 
Nancy Thornton Rogers. Hugh Rogers, a 
Revolutionary War soldier, fought in a num- 
ber of skirmishes in North and South Caroli- 
na, the most important being the Battle of 
King's Mountain. Nancy Thornton, the 
daughter of John Thornton, a manufacturer 
of powder, served water from a gourd dipper 
to Col. John Seveir's men. She caught the eye 
of the young patriot, Hugh Rogers, and he 
resolved he would see her again. Soon after 
the winning of the war, Hugh took Nancy as 
his bride. In 1800 he moved his family to a 
home on a large boundary of land he had pur- 
chased on Fine's Creek in Haywood County. 
They lived there until their deaths. Hugh Rog- 
ers died October 29, 1848 at the ripe old age 
of 88. 

About 1830 Robert Rogers secured 200 
acres of land through a state grant located 
north of what is the Lake Junaluska Method- 
ist Assembly. He selected a knoll just above an 
excellent spring of water, on which to build 
his home. Two streams join just below the 

A large two-story house was built from lum- 
ber sawed on the place and three chimneys 
with fireplaces were erected from brick made 
on the site. 

About 25 years ago a great-grandson, Guy 
Fulbright, who was a building contractor, and 
now owns the property, took down the old 
chimneys in remodeling the house. He used 
the bricks for two large chimneys and fire- 
places in a large log house he built for his son, 
Dr. Robert Fulbright, on a hill facing the Ful- 
bright home. 

Robert Rogers married Susanna Smith. 
Five sons and two daughters were born to this 
union. Julia Ann, the youngest daughter, 
stayed on in the home with her parents. She 
married Andrew Jackson Fulbright and they 
continued to live with her mother who lived 
to be 91 years of age. 

The Fulbrights were the parents of three 
sons and three daughters. 

Julia Ann was a shrewd businesswoman. 
To her three sons she deeded the property her 
father had left to her in the Rogers Cove. To 
her daughters she left property on Fine's 
Creek which she inherited from her father. 

Robert Fulbright, her eldest son, took care 
of his mother and owned the homestead. 
Even though he married twice, he had no chil- 
dren and left this property to a nephew, Guy 
Fulbright, son of George Fulbright. Guy con- 
tinued to live on this property until his death, 
May 3, 1 980. A few years before his death, he, 
with his wife, Evalee Snelson Fulbright, deed- 
ed the farm to their two children, Robert Ful- 
bright and Sylvia Fulbright Echols, the pres- 
ent owners. 

The portion of land left to George Fulbright 
is still owned by his heirs. Several acres left to 
the other son, Sam Fulbright have been sold. 

Corn, tobacco, hay, and small grains have 
been grown on this farm over the years. The 
farm is now being leased to a neighbor and is 
being kept up well. Much of it is pastured. Hay 
and tobacco are now the chief crops. Cattle 


are fed in two barns. Two good rental houses 
are maintained, aside from the remodeled 
two story brick home in which Guy Ful- 
brighf s widow continues to reside. 

Submitted by Exalee Fulbright 


My first memories of our farm are as a 
small girl going with my father to feed the fat 
cattle and the sheep. I was the only child in our 
family. My father was 50 years old when he 
and my mother were married. My father, Ira 
Henson, cared for my grandfather until his 
death. They lived on the same farm that I now 
live on. 

The Mease farm in the snow with mountains in the 

My grandfather, Henry Henson, was a 
descendant from Scotland. When the land 
was first settled, there were little valleys 
between these beautiful mountains in western 
North Carolina which were called "coves." 
The cove where I now live is Henson Cove as 
most every family that lived in the cove were 
Hensons. My father had brothers and sisters 
who all lived in the Henson Cove. My grand- 
father and father bought several acres of land; 
some were purchased from one of our rela- 
tives who went west in the gold rush years. My 
father was born on this farm and lived here all 
his life. 

When my grandfather died, my father mar- 
ried my mother, who was of Irish descent. 
These people were of hearty stock as my 
grandfather Grogan, mother's father, lived to 
the age of 106. 1 had one brother who died in 
infancy. I was born in February 1923. 

I married a man from another cove, just 
across the mountain from our cove, called 
Dutch Cove. His name was Way Mease, Sr. 
We were married 62 years before his death in 
May of 1985 at 90 years of age. He was of 
strong Dutch and German descent. To us 
were born five children. Two boys, Way 
Mease, Jr. and Charles Mease; and three 
daughters, Dorothy Mease McCracken, Nan- 
cy Mease Blazer and Margaret Mease Husni- 
an. All five are living and in good health 
today. We made our living on the farm as did 
my parents and grandparents before. We have 
1 3 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. 

As we began to get up in years, we could 
no longer farm the land, so we divided it 
amongst the five children. 


We loved the farm, and we made a good liv- 
ing on it. God has been very good to us and 
blessed us in many ways. When my husband 
died, it was the first death in the family in sev- 
eral years. 

My children, who now have deeds to the 
farm, lease it for pasture land presently. Each 
of us still grows vegetables on the farmland. 

Submitted by Mrs. Way Mease, Sr. 


This farm is on Green River Road and was 
first owned by a Murphy family. The farm 
was originally two tracts, 420 acres and 380 
acres, with a total of 800 acres. The Murphy 
family sold the farm to a Justice family. The 
family lost the farm because of taxes. The 
judge considered him a lunatic, so the county 
auctioned the farm off. 

Daniel Pace bought the farm for $700 in 
1838. The main crops produced on the farm 
were corn, potatoes and chestnuts. They also 
raised pigs for the market. 

Daniel Pace was born October 6, 1 79 1 . He 
died on May 31, 1871. He had two children. 
One was named Frank Pace. He got 400 acres 
and the original homeplace. 

Frank was born January 9, 1838 and died in 
1918. He married Mary Ann Jones on Janu- 
ary 10, 1869. They were married January 10, 
1869. They had four children, one being 
Sarah Pace. 

Sarah was born March 1, 1871 and died 
March 1912. She married John Mitchell Mor- 
gan, August 2, 1 896. They had four children: 
Perlie, John Dwight, Clyde and Mae. 

Until now all the generations have raised 
corn, potatoes and chestnuts as well as live- 

John Dwight Morgan was born January 26, 
1902 and died August 3, 1973. He married 
Lyda Myrtle Ward on August 26, 1928. He 
raised corn until the summer of 1 948 when he 
started raising pole beans. The first year, he 
put out five acres of pole beans. The next 
year, he put out ten acres until he got to 200 

In 1958, John Dwight Morgan and his son, 
John Dwight Morgan, Jr. became partners. 
They farmed about 100 acres of pole beans. 
They were partners from 1958 until 1966 
when John Dwight, Sr. retired. 

John Dwight Morgan, Jr. was born on June 
3, 1929 and died May 6, 1982. He was mar- 
ried to Dorothy Louise Kuykendall. 

John Dwight, Jr. farmed by himself from 
1967 until 1971. 

John Dwight Morgan, Jr.'s son, Michael 
Steven Morgan, graduated from East High in 
May of 1 967. He went to North Carolina State 
University and graduated in January 1970 
from the two year program. He was in the 
National Guard at this time, so in February 
1970 he spent the next six months on active 

The fall, 1970, Michael went to Sanford, 
Florida. On April 17, 1971 he married Vickie 
Lynn Justice, born April 14, 1952. 

They have two children. Their names are 
Michael Steven Morgan, II and Nicholas Aar- 
on Morgan. Their ages are 1 6 and 9. 

Michael's dad and grandpa talked him into 
pole bean farming. Michael and his dad were 
partners from May 1 972 until his dad's death 
on May 6, 1982. 

They raised pole beans until 1974. Then 
they expanded to cucumbers, eggplant and 
polebeans. Then in 1976 they stayed with 
pole beans and eggplant. Michael still raises 
them today. 

In 1974 they started a tree farm. In 1985 
they expanded with a partner in the tree farm. 
His name is Jessse Staton. They have about 80 
acres of nursery stock. 

They have the vegetable farm (Morgan 
Farms) in the summertime and in the winter- 
time they have a nursery farm called River- 
side Nursery. 

Michael Steven Morgan is the sixth genera- 
tion of farmers on this farm that was bought 
by his great-great-great-grandpa, Daniel 
Pace, in September 1838. This is the 150th 
year that Michael's family has owned this 
farm. Submitted by Michael Steven Morgan 


The farm of Hugh L. and Louie M. Noland 
is another of the century farms of western 
North Carolina. In early 1800, her great- 
great-grandfather, Joseph McCracken came 
from Habersham County, Georgia with his 
bride, Sara Vaughn McCracken and settled 
on a large tract of land that is located in the 
Crabtree Township of Haywood County. 

The Noland homeplace built in the late 1800s. 

Her great grandfather, Hiram McCracken, 
one of the 13 children of Joseph and Sara 
McCracken, was born in 1821. In 1845 he 
married Mary P. Howell and the two of them 
made their home on a portion of the father's 
holdings in Crabtree. There they raised a large 
family, the fifth child born to them was David 
(known as Billy) McCracken, who was the 
grandfather of Mrs. Noland. David was born 
in 1861 and in 1882 married Ellen Liner. 

David (Billy) and Ellen also made their 
home on acreage of the original Joseph 
McCracken holdings. It was on this farm that 
they made their living and raised their seven 
children. The third child born to them, Lucy 
McCracken, was the mother of Mrs. Noland. 
In 1911 she married William A. Medford and 
Mrs. Noland was the first child born to them. 

Ellen McCracken lived in the home she and 
David (Billy) built until her death in 1947. 
Hugh and Louie Noland have lived in this 
home since their marriage in 1 932, except for 
a brief period during World War II. The farm 
on which they live has been in her family for 
over 1 50 years and their home was built in the 
later 1800s. 

Mr. Noland has farmed the land for many 
years and since his retirement as Comptroller 
of Champion International, in Canton, has 


devoted all of his time to the farm and the 
raising of beef cattle. 

Submitted by Hugh L. and Louie Medford Noland 
Henderson County 


Our land has been continuously farmed 
since 1855 when great-grandfather, John Sit- 
ton, purchased 400 acres for $2400. It is in the 
Horse Shoe area of Henderson County and 
lies partly along the French Broad River. 

Shown here on the Brannon farm are several barns, 
a tenant house, and the corner of the farm pond. 

John Sitton's only child, Etta, married 
Andrew Pierce Brannon shortly after the 
death of her parents in 1907. 

They continued farming and began milking 
a few cows. 

Pierce was an originator and Director of the 
"Horse Shoe Cooperative Cheese Factory." 
This was started and financed by local farm- 
ers as a market for their milk and it operated 
for a few years in the 1920s until other mar- 
kets opened up. This was the beginning of 
dairy industry in the western part of the coun- 

Pierce bought the first registered heifer in 
the county. He went to Gaffney, South Caroli- 
na, and brought "Pioneer Beauty," a regis- 
tered Guernsey, home in the back of a Model 
T Ford. 

Pierce and Etta had two sons, John Clif- 
ford, born September 14, 1911, and died Feb- 
ruary 21, 1979, who married Nancy Allen in 
1938 and Carl Leonard, born May 19, 1909, 
who married Helen Love in 1936. 

Carl bought Clifford's part of the farm in 
1961 and incorporated the farm business in 

Carl and Helen have two sons: James Love, 
who is the Controller for a company in Char- 
lotte, and Andrew Carl, who after teaching 1 2 
years in 1979, resigned to manage the farm 
which had grown to a dairy herd of 80. He is 
also president of the corporation. 

We have 370 Holsteins and milk about 1 50. 
Now we are going to an all registered herd. 
Some of the cows are registered. We raise 
mostly corn for silage and grain corn. About 
200 acres of original land was sold, but we 
have bought three other tracts and now own 
425 acres. 

James' son, Scott Richard, now 16, is inter- 
ested in and loves every phase of farm life. 
The family hopes he will continue the tradi- 
tion of the farm and be the fifth generation 
farmer. Submitted by Carl L. Brannon 

Haywood — Henderson — Hertford 


This parcel of land was obtained by E. Phi- 
lo Hawkins around 1 874 from Col. Valentine 
Ripley. Herman Bowman Hawkins, Sr., was 
born on this property on September 21, 1875. 
The farm was originally in the neighborhood 
of 300 acres. E. Philo reared eight children on 
this farm. 

Hawkins family and boarders, at the farmhouse. 

Most of the land was cleared by the family 
and was a prosperous farm operation. The 
land was well supplied with streams and had 
a variety of terrain that accommodated dif- 
ferent kinds of crops. Most of the land was 
used to grow corn and hay, some was for cane, 
molasses and truck farming crops such as cab- 
bage and potatoes, and for shipping to market 
by train, around the turn of the century. 

About 1 890- 1 895, the family built a board- 
ing house which accommodated boarders 
from South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, 
who came by train to Hendersonville. Her- 
man B. Hawkins, Sr. drove the horse and car- 
riage to meet the train. 

Edward LeRoy Hawkins' first memories of 
the farm were as a small boy, of the large team 
of horses and his grandfather, his dad, and his 
brothers picking up corn stalks from the clo- 
ver meadows that were to be mowed for hay. 

His father, Herman B. Hawkins, Sr., 
obtained 50 acres of the farm from my grand- 
father about 1907, when he married my 
mother, Emma Jones (granddaughter of Solo- 
mon Jones, "The Road Builder"). This part of 
the farm was our home from then to now. 
Edward's family had a dairy farm. They culti- 
vated most of the land and rented the pasture 
land from his grandfather. 

There were four boys in the family and they 
all worked on the farm. When Edward's 
father retired in the 1940s from the dairy 
farm, he still farmed parts of the land and 
leased it out a few years. 

In 1964 Edward's father divided his farm 
between the four boys. Edward received 1 8.5 
acres on which he now lives with his wife of 45 
years, Zoda Mae (McCraw) Hawkins, and 
they grow a large vegetable garden. Edward is 
the youngest son, born March 21, 1917. 
Edward's son and grandson, William E. and 
M. Derek Hawkins, will follow in ownership. 
Edward's grandfather died in 1937, and his 
father died in 1968. 

Submitted by Edward LeRoy Hawkins 

Hertford County 


The farm was purchased in 1735 and deed- 
ed to Samuel Warren in 1736 from William 
Gooch. The property then went to Samuel's 
son, Col. Etheldred Warren. Robert Warren, 
bachelor son of Col. Etheldred Warren, 
became owner of part of the Warren property 
in 1818 and cultivated the soil of this large 

Taken on the Burbage farm. Dr. T.I. Burbage. 

Robert brought his sister, Martha, and five 
children to Cedar Hill to live with him after 
the death of her husband (Elisha Winborne) 
July 20, 1829. Robert cared for Martha's 
property, provided by her husband, and sold 
it for Martha's benefit. 

Martha Winborne's son, Samuel Darden 
Winborne, nephew of Robert Warren, inher- 
ited a fair estate from Robert Warren to use to 
the benefit of his sister, Martha Winborne, 
during her natural life. At her death, the prop- 
erty would go to Samuel Darden Winborne. 
There was over 1 ,000 acres of farm property. 
In 1847 when the state military was orga- 
nized, Samuel was made major in his county. 
He was a friend to the Confederate soldiers 
and to the poor. He was appointed a cadet to 
the Military Academy at West Point in 1 839. 
He married Mary Pretlow. Samuel Winborne 
died April 3, 1895, at the age of 74. Mr. Win- 
borne left his family well endowed. He willed 
his daughter, Annie Winborne Burbage, 135 
acres of farmland with a home on the proper- 
ty. He left each survivor equally as much. She 
married Dr. Thomas I. Burbage, a young 
practicing physician, on June 6, 1887. Annie 
loved the farm home so they lived with her 
family for a short while. 

The Winborne farm was self-sustaining. 
The only items of food bought were coffee, 
tea, sugar and white flour. Fruits and nuts of 
all kinds, from the earliest to latest varieties, 
were grown at home. All surplus was con- 
served and stored for winter. There were milk 
cows which furnished an abundance of milk, 
butter and cream. Beef was slaughtered for 
table use while hogs and lambs were butch- 
ered for family use and for sale. Chickens and 
eggs were available for home use and for sale. 

Dr. Burbage could not persuade his wife to 
settle in a near-by town, so they moved from 
his wife's parents house into another house on 
the farm and there they reared their six chil- 
dren. Their cottage home was first used for an 
overseers home. As the Burbage family grew, 
additions were added to the home. 


Dr. Burbage and Mrs. Burbage purchased 
1 54 acres of Winborne land which was left to 
Mrs. Burbage's sister, Ella Winborne Savage, 
by her father, S.D. Winborne. Dr. Burbage 
died April 1 5, 1 928. On June 23,1932 Sadie 
J. Burbage and Samuel Thomas Burbage pur- 
chased Burbage property of 289 acres from 
Annie W. Burbage. 

At the death of Sadie J. Burbage, daughter, 
Margaret Burbage Whitley, and son, Samuel 
Thomas Burbage, Jr., came into possession of 
the property. This last transaction of property 
(289 acres) is only a small part of the original 

Samuel Thomas Burbage, Jr. has cultivated 
this part of the plantation for over 50 years 
and is at the age of retirement but continues 
with his farming operation. The crops grown 
are peanuts, corn, soybeans and garden prod- 
ucts. The growing of sugar cane for molasses, 
growing cotton plus raising sheep, swine, 
chickens and geese have played a part in the 
Burbage farm life. 

At present, Walter D. Gray and Ann Bur- 
bage Gray, daughter of Samuel Thomas Bur- 
bage, Jr., own and occupy the Burbage home 
with their two sons, Walter Dale Gray, Jr. and 
Trent Burbage Gray. Walter Jr. is a senior at 
VPI College, Blacksburg, Virginia and Trent 
is a freshman at Elon College, Elon, North 
Carolina. Submitted by Mrs. R.G. Whitley 


Sometime in 1861 a 300 acre tract of land 
which lies in Hertford County in a small com- 
munity known as Menola, was given to 
Rebecca Liverman Outland by her father, 
John. He owned a vast amount of land which 
dates back as far as the 1 840s. 

Outland farm in Menola community, Hertford 

Rebecca married Richard Garner Outland 
in 1844. They had six children. One was 
Oscar Robert, born on September 22, 1881. 
He was born and raised in the original home. 
The original house burned down during the 
late 1950s or early 60s. 

This was a working farm with crops and all 
types of animals. Richard took time out from 
farming and served as a cook during the Civil 

Oscar was given a tract of 25 acres more or 
less sometime around 1900. He married 
Maude Carter from Murfreesboro in Febru- 
ary of 1 9 1 2. They had one son, Oscar Glenn, 
born January 5, 1913. The present owner of 
the farm lives in that home that he built from 
frame timber that was grown on the farm. 

Due to illness and death, the original tract 
was lost from the Outland family, except the 

Hertford— Hyde 

25 acres owned by my Oscar Robert in the 

Oscar Robert farmed the land along with 
his son, Oscar Glenn, until his death in 1 965. 
Corn, cotton, tobacco and peanuts along with 
hogs were raised. 

At Oscar Glenn's death in 1974, the farm 
was left to Patricia Outland Burke and her sis- 
ter, Lindsay. Their mother continues to live 
in the home. 

In 1976 Patricia and her husband, remod- 
eled the home. They did not change the out- 
side appearance, only improved it. 

Linda Ann's husband, Jerry E. Lindsay, 
farms the farm today. 

Linda Ann's husband, Jerry, is also a 
descendant of Rebecca Liverman's father, 
John P. Liverman, who originated from 
Menola. Submitted by Patricia Outland Burke 


Three generations of the Abraham Thomas 
family have been landowners and farmers in 
Hertford County. Abraham Thomas, born 
November 26, 1 799, came to Hertford Coun- 
ty from Bertie County and married Nancy 
Mitchell. Abraham purchased additional 
farmland amounting to over 1200 acres. He 
cleared a piece of land and built his home 
where he reared his four children, Mary, Mar- 
tha, John Q. and Rascius P. Thomas (born 
September 2, 1845). 

Abraham Thomas worked hard to clear 
land for cultivation. He was a faithful public 
servant and a judge for special court. Mr. 
Thomas died April 13, 1879, leaving his prop- 
erty to the four children. 

Rascius P., who had completed his medical 
education at the University of New York and 
returned to the farm to practice, bought out 
his brother and sisters. He was married to 
Mary Mitchell of Franklinton, North Caroli- 
na in 1 879. Their four children were William 
"Will" Abraham, Robert Green, Mary P. and 
Ruth Mitchell. In 1888 he built the present 
Thomas house. 

Dr. Thomas was a beloved and successful 
physician. However, his health did not permit 
him to continue his practice. He retired to 
farming with much success. 

The family food supply was grown on the 
farm with only sugar, tea, coffee and white 
flour purchased. A steam pressure canner was 
used to preserve uncured meats. A potato 
house was built especially for storing potatoes 

with double walls insulated with cotton seed 
and sand. Jersey milk cows from Jersey Island 
supplied milk for everyday use. The sheep 
raised supplied wool for sale and for family 
blankets. A cotton gin was operated on the 

Dr. Thomas died October 29, 1916 at the 
age of 71. William A. and Robert Green fol- 
lowed in their father's footsteps. They operat- 
ed the farm and cared for their sisters and 
mother (died February 17, 1928). Robert died 
January 1 1, 1926 at the age of 39 with pneu- 

William, known as "Will," was for many 
years a member and chairman of the Hertford 
County Committee on Agricultural Stabiliza- 
tion and Conservation. 

In 1916a Delco light system was installed 
and operated by a generator, then electricity 
came into the home in 1950. Will Thomas 
died October 18, 1975 at the age of 95, leaving 
his unmarried sisters, Mary and Ruth, at the 

Mary graduated from Chowan College and 
taught school 33 years. She assumed the role 
of head of the house after her mother's death. 
Miss Mary died in 1981. 

Present owner, Ruth Thomas (third genera- 
tion), resides at the Thomas home and has 
lived there all her life (91 years). Miss Ruth 
raised chickens, and in 1 927-28 provided eggs 
for Vann Hatchery in Murfreesboro and Tod- 
ds Hatchery in Bertie County. She continued 
her chicken business and kept a poultry 
record. January 20, 1928, the record showed 
34,480 eggs produced a year. 

Miss Ruth was a member of the Tomato 
Club cultivating 1/10 acre of tomatoes. She 
canned tomatoes in tin cans with the use of a 
special boiling water bath canner. 

The century farm ownership certificate was 
awarded in September 1975. 

Farming operations still go on at the Thom- 
as place using all modern equipment. 

The doctor's office, smokehouse, potato 
house, farm barn as well as homestead is still 
on the plantation. 

Submitted by Miss Ruth Thomas 

Hyde County 


The earliest records of Bridgmans in Hyde 
County are land transactions. Thomas Bridg- 
man bought land around 1 785. He was a far- 

Dr. Rascius P. Thomas and Will Thomas with a herd of cows. 



The Clarke house, Wynne's Folly. 

mer and as farming goes, had some lean years 
and on the 7th day of January 1791, he 
swapped 50 acres to John Davis for 36 barrels 
of Indian corn. 

Thomas Bridgman had three known sons, 
James who would have come to Hyde County 
with him; Thomas and Joseph being born 

In 1850 one of Thomas Bridgman's grand- 
sons, Green Bridgman, son of James, wrote 
William Bridgman in New York. William 
sent the letter to his father, also William 
Bridgman in Springfield, Massachusetts. A 
copy of William's answer to Green, dated July 
17, 1850, still survives. This correspondence 
concerned genealogy, leading one to believe 
that Thomas Bridgman came to Hyde County 
from the New England area. Also many 
names in both areas were the same. 

It was the second son, Thomas, who on 
December 1 0, 1 833 bought 1 1 3 acres in Rose 
Bay community. It is a part of this purchase 
that is now the century farm. He had ten chil- 
dren; five girls and five boys, and stated in his 
will of 1858 that the farm was to be sold. At 
the time of his death, the original 1 13 acres 
had been sold off to 47.5 acres. When the land 
was sold, it was bought by one of his five sons, 
John Langston Bridgman in 1871. John, in 
addition to running the farm, captained a two 
masted schooner, the "Minnie," from Rose 
Bay to Washington, North Carolina, carrying 
farm produce and livestock, bringing back 
fertilizer, lime and anything that farmers 
ordered, plus wholesale items for storekeep- 

John L. Bridgman reared three children, 
two girls and a son, Thomas Edward (T.E.) 
Bridgman. After John L. Bridgman's death, 
October 20, 1 9 1 6 as stated in his will, the 47.5 
acres were divided between the three chil- 

T.E. Bridgman got the one third containing 
the home and the graveyard. He farmed this 
1 6 acres and did some commercial fishing. He 
reared two daughters, who at his death in 
1950, continued to look after the farm, rent- 
ing it out. 

Today the farm is still owned by Bridgman 
heirs and long range plans are to keep it that 
way. Submitted by Carroll D. Gibbs 


The Clarke house, known as Wynne's Fol- 
ly, is a Greek Revival type of architecture, 
two-story built circa 1 845, and is located near 
Engelhard in Hyde County. Dr. Edward 
Clarke, a physician, came to Hyde to practice 
medicine and surgery. He bought the house 
and land from Mrs. Mary L. Spencer in 1 882, 

and it has been owned by a Clarke descendant 
since that time. A small house in the corner of 
the yard was used as a medical office. Dr. 
Clarke helped organize St. George's Episco- 
pal Church and was a member of the first Ves- 

Dr. Clarke married Florence Mary Gibbs 
and from this union there were four children. 
Upon Dr. Clarke's death, his son, Seth, 
bought the property from the other heirs. Seth 
married Laura Nicholson Tankard and there 
were five children: Edward Rayden, Florence 
Mary, Macon, Laura and Camille. 

The story is told that Mr. Richard Wynne 
had the house built to impress the young 
woman he was planning to marry. The bride 
to be changed her mind. A friend suggested to 
Mr. Wynne to call the house Wynne's Folly. 

The house is approximately 40x40 with 
eight rooms enhanced by a fireplace in every 
room. The main central entrance has a double 
door, each leaf having a long Greek Revival 
panel. This is flanked by four light side lights 
and surmounted by a four light transom and 
cover lights. The doorway at the second level 
has a single two panel Greek Revival door and 
transom. The single door treatment recurs at 
the first and second levels on the sides. The 
floors are made of heart pine throughout the 

Within, the house is characterized by spa- 
ciousness and simplicity. Four large rooms 
are separated by interesting halls running in a 
T-shaped arrangement on each floor. A hand- 
somely treated transverse arch carried on flat 
paneled pilasters occurs at the junction of the 
two halls on the first floor. The stair, using the 
north end of the cross hall, features a heavy 
turned newel and turned baluster of walnut. 

The land surrounding the house has grown 
either corn or soybeans throughout the years. 
Cotton has been grown, but not in recent 
years. Submitted by Camille B. Clarke 


The Jennette farm is located in southeast- 
ern Hyde County where it joins Lake Matta- 
muskeet. This farm has been in the same fam- 
ily since 1 772, when it was purchased by John 
Jennett (originally no "e") from John Ser- 

The Jennette homeplace, 1970. 

John Jennett died in 1 774 leaving the prop- 
erty to his son, Robert, a member of the N.C. 
Legislature. Robert gave his son, Thomas, the 
land in 1814. About this time the first struc- 
ture was built — two rooms with beaded 
beams and wide Cyprus paneling. This build- 
ing still stands and is used as a barn. 

After Thomas death in 1832, his brother, 
Robert, purchased the farm from Thomas' 
widow, Ann, who had remarried Selby Wat- 
son. In 1850 Robert gave his son, Henry, the 
property. During the years the farm was 
owned by Robert and Henry, the major por- 
tion of the homeplace was built. It consisted 
of a simple four room structure with adjoin- 
ing kitchen and dining room. A wash house, 
barns, smokehouse, carriage house, tenant 
houses and privy with six seats were built. 

By 1857 Henry and his wife, Martha Far- 
row, were living in this house. Among the 
things listed in Henry's inventory of 1865 
were corn, wheat, Irish potatoes, apples, cot- 
ton, oxen, cows, burros, hogs, horses, corn 
shellers, ox carts, plows, a hand mill and a 
grindstone, all indicating typical farm pro- 
duction and equipment of that period. 

Thomas Henry, son of Henry, acquired the 
property after his father's death in 1 864. After 
graduating from Eastern College in New 
York, Thomas returned home to farm. In 
1903, he and his wife, Rena Sparrow, 
enlarged their home. By this time soybeans 
had been introduced to Hyde County by a sea 
captain returning from the Orient. Thomas 
had a thresher to harvest the newly discov- 
ered "miracle crop." 

Thomas died in 1 934 and his son, Thomas 
Armistead, acquired the property. Armistead 
returned to marry Myra Gray Mann and to 
farm after he received his education from 
Bingham Military Academy, Randolf Macon 
Institute and N.C. State College. With the 
land's rich yield of crops, orchards, gardens, 
its livestock and the great migration of wild 
geese and ducks to Lake Mattamuskeet, as 
well as the bounty of close by Pamlico Sound 
providing oysters, clams, fish and shrimp, the 
farm proved almost self-sufficient. Wild fowl 
provided not only meat for the table, but 
feathers to make pillows and mattresses. 
Wool from the sheep was made into blankets. 

After her father's death in 1969, Tra Jen- 
nette Perry, wife of Linnie D. Perry II and 
mother of Thomas Armistead and Elizabeth 
Dow, inherited the property. 

The 1 75 acre farm continues to yield its fine 
harvest and the homeplace, surrounded by 
fences, pecan groves, gardens, orchards and 
many outbuildings, serves as a proud monu- 
ment to eight generations of Jennettes who 
have toiled, loved and cared for this good 
land. Submitted by Tra Perry 


The Albin B. Swindell homeplace is now 
occupied by his granddaughter, Mary Louise 

The Albin B. Swindell homeplace, which was placed 
on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. 


Swindell McGee, inherited from her father, J. 
Harry Swindell after his death in 1979. 

The 120 acres was purchased from 
Ambrose Howard in 1877. It is located at 
Swindell Fork, approximately four miles east 
of Swan Quarter. The main harvest of corn 
and soybeans continues. Cotton planting dis- 
continued in the 1930s. Mrs. McGee's broth- 
ers, John Harold and Russell, were intro- 
duced to farming by their uncle, A.B. 
Swindell, III, and assisted him until his death. 

The brothers established homes and farms 
nearby. In 1951 Russell was elected as a mem- 
ber of the N.C. House of Representatives and 
later moved to Cary. John Harold combined 
family farms into one operation where he 
worked and supervised until retirement. 

J. Harry Swindell operated the general mer- 
cantile business of "A.B. Swindell and Sons," 
established in 1 875 by his father until 1 978. 

The drummer (traveling salesman), early 
traveler and neighbors were always welcomed 
at mealtime to a bountiful table of fruits, veg- 
etables, fowl and meat raised on the land and 
served by Mrs. Swindell (Mary Atkinson). In 
1 937 Hazel Asby (Mrs. R. Lane), orphaned by 
tragedy, was welcomed as a family member. 

In August 1986 the Swindell house and 
store was placed on the National Register of 
Historic Places. This is quoted from the nom- 
inator. "The Swindell family store, house and 
various outbuildings, and its acreage, repre- 
sent and essentially unchanged early twenti- 
eth-century mercantile/farm operation sig- 
nificant locally as a trading center or the 
farmers and seasonal hunters and fisherman 
in Hyde County for over a hundred years. 

Submitted by Mary Louise Swindell McGee 

Iredell County 


The 2 1 4 acre century farm was once a part 
of 600 acres which Robert Allison once 
owned and later sold in smaller tracts to the 
Cloaningers and Vanderburgs. It is located on 
Highway 21 north of Mooresville. 


Emma Kennerly Boyd in 1986. 

Robert Allison had five children, four of 
whom migrated to Tennessee and Kentucky, 
leaving him without anyone to take care of 
him. John Alphonso Allison had to serve in 
the Civil War, and afterwards stayed with and 
took care of him. It was during that time that 
Robert made his will, willing the farm to 
John, and if he never came back, some of the 
land was to go to some of his slaves. 

After the war ended, John came back home 
and married Euphemia E. Mills. Twins were 

Hyde — Iredell 

born, a girl and boy. The mother and son died. 
The girl survived. She was Euphemia Allison 
(Kennerly). Since Euphemia Allison was an 
only child, she inherited the farm in 1914. 

Before Euphemia Allison Kennerly passed 
away, the cousins came back to North Caroli- 
na from Tennessee and Kentucky and wanted 
to see where their great-grandparents once 
lived. Euphemia of course was surprised, but 
was glad to see and meet them. About two 
weeks after they had gone back, she had a let- 
ter from a lawyer in Greensboro telling her 
that they had come all the way there to get him 
(lawyer) to go with them to the courthouse in 
Statesville, the county seat of Iredell County, 
to look up the will to the farm and found that 
not only had it been willed, but also deeded to 
John A. Allison. 

Euphemia Allison Kennerly died in 1952 
and left the farm to Emma Kennerly (Boyd). 
Emma is now 88 years old and it is near the 
time for her three children to soon become 
heirs to it. They are Mrs. Lavon Boyd Atwell, 
Albert L. and Allen S. Boyd (twins), seven 
grandchildren and one great-grandchild — 
thus, seven generations. The Allison farm has 
been in the family 155 years or perhaps lon- 
ger. Submitted by Emma Kennerly Boyd 


In August of 1 880 Benjamin and Elizabeth 
Turner sold 200 acres to Evan J. Thomas. 
Evan J. Thomas was a confederate veteran of 
the Civil War. He arrived in Iredell County 
sometime after the war with his wife, Laura, 
and family of several children. 

In March 1885 Evan J. Thomas purchased 
204 acres from Wilfred and Dorcas Turner. 
He purchased other holdings later on also. 
This property was on Little Dutchman Creek. 

In April 1 900 70 acres of his estate were 
passed to his daughter, Janie Thomas, and 
128 acres to his son, William Van Thomas. 

In December 1924 36 acres were trans- 
ferred to William Van Thomas and 50 acres to 
Janie Thomas. Both parties received other 
acreage by purchase or inheritance from other 
unmarried brothers. 

In March 1953 Robert S. Thomas received 
80 acres from his father William Van. 

In April 1967 Robert S. Thomas inherited 
80 acres from his aunt, Janie Thomas. 

Robert S. Thomas passed away in May of 
1983. In settling his estate, 75 acres of this 
combined acreage was transferred to his 
daughter, Josephine Thomas Anderson. This 
was part of the original holdings of Evan J. 
and Laura Thomas in Iredell County near Mt. 
Bethel Church and on Little Dutchman 
Creek. Submitted by Josephine T. Anderson 


Shortly after the end of the Civil War Alex- 
ander Beaver and his three sons, Emanuel, 
Adolphus, and Michael Nathaniel came to 
Iredell County from Rowan County. All three 
sons were Confederate War veterans. They 
bought land which was a part of the Granville 
Grant and settled in Iredell County. 

Alexander, his sons and grandsons cleared 
the virgin forests and the land was used for 
general purpose farming for some 50 years. 
The Beavers were also craftsmen who 
excelled in making fine furniture from the 
walnut and cherry trees on the farm. 

The Beaver home, taken May 26, 1975. 

After World War I, Newton A. and Arthur 
J., sons of Michael Nathaniel became well- 
known for their produce, especially canta- 
loupes and large watermelons which they 
trucked to neighboring towns. 

In the 1 920s, Newton A. became a dairy far- 
mer. He chose Jersey cows along with many 
other farmers in Iredell County due to the 
leadership of county agent Ray Morrow. 

Leon McDuffy (better known as Mack), son 
of Newton A., became a partner in the busi- 
ness with his father in 1945. The Jersey cows 
were replaced with Holsteins and the dairy 
became an important Grade A milk business 
in the county. 

In 1975 Mack Beaver, Jr. returned home 
from North Carolina State University. He 
began dairy farming with his father and soon 
became a partner in Beaver Farms. 

Five generations of Beavers have lived and 
farmed the Beaver lands since the 1860s. 
Their land now includes 240 acres in two 
tracts. The Beavers also rent 400 acres of land 
from neighboring farmers on which they raise 
tons of hay and forage for their herds. 

Beaver men have been noted for their deep 
love for their land and what can be produced 
on it. Mack Beaver and his son Mack. Jr. have 
inherited that same feeling. No doubt it will 
be handed down to Mack, Jr.'s little son, 
Lucas Michael, and Beaver Farms will contin- 
ue well into the next century. 

Submitted by L.M. Beaver 


In November 1876 William Henry Craw- 
ford purchased a 100 acre tract of land from 
his brother-in-law Albertus Pharr Murdock, 
adjoining his father's farm about five miles 
east of Statesville. 

The Crawford homeplace. 

Here, W.H. Crawford established a nursery 
business where pecan grove, fruit trees and a 
variety of shrubs remain, as a century-old leg- 

acy. A son, Eugene Morrison Crawford, later 
joined him in the business, which was known 
as W.H. Crawford and Son. 

In 1901 a fire destroyed the original dwell- 
ing. Neighbors living several miles away knew 
the Crawford house was burning because they 
recognized bits of wallpaper blown into their 
yard. Eight decades later W.H. Crawford's 
great-great-granddaughters Katie Leigh and 
Lesley Lynn Templeton still unearth shards of 
china and melted glass from the fire while 
playing in the yard. Another house, built in 
1902, stands today on the same site as the 
original house, and through the years has 
undergone renovations to accommodate the 
generations who continue to live there. 

When W.H. Crawford died in 1 9 1 2, his son 
carried on the nursery business and farmed 
the land he has inherited. Eugene Crawford's 
sister, Margaret Marianne, married John 
Macon Lynn from Catawba County, and they 
lived in the Crawford home with her brother, 
who never married. A daughter, Eugenia, and 
later a son, Charles Crawford, were born to 
Margaret (Maggie as she was called) and J.M. 
Lynn, and they too grew up at the Crawford 

A few years before his death in 1962, 
Eugene Crawford conveyed his farm to his 
nephew, Charles Crawford Lynn, and his 
niece, Eugenia Lynn Shuffler. The portion 
deeded to Charles contains the Crawford 
home where he lives with his wife, Millicent 
Hoskins, and where their only daughter, Pat- 
tie Margaret grew up. 

Traffic lights, city limits and housing devel- 
opments move ever closer, but the old Craw- 
ford home continues to sit in the middle of the 
58 acres deeded to Charles C. Lynn by his 
uncle, out of the original 100 acre tract, and 
Black Angus cattle graze serenely in the pas- 
tures surrounding the home. 

Submitted by Charles Crawford Lynn 


In 1975 the Douglas homeplace, Iredell 
County, housing 1 separate family units and 
several generations was recognized by the 
North Carolina Department of Agriculture as 
one of the state's century farms. Since 1847 
this has been family farmland with cotton, 
corn, wheat and soybean crops grown through 
the years. Vegetable gardens fruit orchards, 
home grown meats and dairy products have 
provided nutritious foods. 


j| .f 

The "old Amity Place of Wm. Feimster lands." 

Captain William Feimster (born 1759, my 
great-great-great-grandfather) was a planter 
and extensive land holder (some grants) in the 
area (Iredell, then Rowan). His son Abner 


Feimster, held the deed to this farm in 1847, 
referred to in old deeds as the "Amity tract of 
the Feimster lands." "Amity" was the name 
of the ARP Church located in about the center 
of this farm and organized in 1848 in the 
home of Abner Feimster on this place. 

Through the years, ownership of this "Ami- 
ty place of the Feimster lands" came on down 
to William Feimster and wife, Mary Sharpe 
Feimster's great granddaughter, Margaret 
Sharpe Douglas, and her husband, Julius Per- 
kins Douglas. Julius Perkins Douglas (my 
grandfather), a teacher and later a federal rev- 
enue officer, also carried on farming with the 
help of good black families who lived on the 
place. J. P. Douglas' home, a two-story house 
they moved here in 1875 piece by piece num- 
bered from his father, David R. Douglas', 
land. The house was reassembled and stood 
here at the Amity homesite until 1921 when 
David Edgar Douglas (my father) built the 
present structure (on same Amity site) from 
timber on the place he now owned. 

David Edgar Douglas' father, Julius, died 
when his son was only 1 2, thus placing a heavy 
responsibility on the young boy's shoulders. 
He proved to be most reliable and capable in 
looking after his widowed mother and youn- 
ger children and in carrying on general farm- 
ing and later timber work. 

David Edgar Douglas and his wife, Annie 
Elizabeth Halyburton Douglas, lived here 
together 60 years. Their children: Clyde, 
Charles, Lorena, Lucy, Russell, Roy, John, 
Mary and David, Jr.; their daughter, Mary 
Douglas Warren (Mrs. Luther Warren); their 
sons, David Edgar Douglas, Jr., and family; 
Russell Douglas and family; and Roy Doug- 
las' (deceased) family now live on the land. 

Through the years, many buildings were 
erected here on the farm — three barns, the 
last barn, red, still intact; a log smokehouse 
for home cured hams; the cabin house home 
for farm helpers; wagon and buggy sheds; corn 
cribs; mill house for grinding cornmeal and 
feed (for animals); grain house; blacksmith 
shop; gear shed; molasses-making shed; wash 
house; pig pens; wood sheds; tool shops; 
chicken houses; dairy house; small storage 
building; little houses built for growing sons; 
three play houses built for daughters, the last 
one built for granddaughter Douglas Anne, 
later used by young great grandson, Sam, as a 
boys clubhouse; sheds for harvester combine 
and tractors; and five wells, dug or drilled. 
The first well, dug in 1 878 and the first well in 
the community, marked the beginning of a 
new era in farm water supply as compared to 
the natural springs down in the meadow near- 
by. This well furnished water for the home 
and farm, as well as for the nearby Midway 
School and Old Amity Church. 

Also on the farmland, Midway Public 
School was built in 1 897 on land given by my 
grandmother Douglas (then a widow). Old 
Amity ARP Church stood near the center of 
the farm until it moved to Scotts in 1910. 
David Edgar Douglas then organized and 
helped build Midway Methodist Church in 
1911, also on land given by grandmother 
Douglas, David Edgar Douglas and later land 
given by Margaret S. Douglas, David Edgar 
Douglas, Lucy Elizabeth Douglas, Luther and 
Mary Douglas Warren. The second and pres- 
ent church (brick) was constructed in 1958 

with Margaret and Julius Douglas' grandson 
being chairman of the building committee. 

Long past the century mark, on into the sec- 
ond century, the good earth, the farmland 
remains. Seed-time and harvest is a promise 
and those who love and till the soil help to 
keep that promise. Submitted by Mary Douglas 
Warren (Mrs. Luther Warren) 


The Prevette farm is located in New Hope 
Township of Iredell County and is part of the 
land from the large land holdings of the Wil- 
liams family of north Iredell County. 

Harrison T. and Roxie Williams holding grand- 
daughter, Sybil Bowles, beside the log corn crib. 

The first purchase of land in Iredell County 
by the Williams family was in 1 783. Samuel 
Williams purchased 20 acres in 1 785. Samuel 
continued to add to his land holdings and the 
1 8 1 5 tax list showed him with 927 acres. Sam- 
uel's will was probated in 1816 and 
Theophilus inherited Samuel's land. 
Theophilus passed land to James W. Wil- 

James W. Williams acquired part of the 
Shelton land through his first wife, Catherine 
L. Shelton. He purchased additional land and 
with his inherited Williams land and the Shel- 
ton land, he had a total of 748 acres. Harrison 
T. Williams inherited part of this land. 

Harrison T. Williams added purchased 
land to the James W. Williams land and in 
1920, Bertha Williams Prevette inherited 
from her father, Harrison T. Williams, a share 
of this land. J. Harry Prevette inherited this 
share in 1963 at the death of his mother. 

Over the past 60 years my family has grown 
cotton, corn, wheat, beef and dairy cattle on 
this land. Today the entire tract is planted in 
Loblolly and Virginia pine trees. 

Other tracts of the Williams' land are 
owned by Sybil Bowles, who lives on the land, 
Kathleen Hayes Myers and Calvin Hayes of 
North Wilkesboro, Richard Williams of 
Statesville and other descendants of Dr. Joe 
V. Williams and Euphronues Williams. 

Submitted by J. Harry Prevette 



In 1808 Hosea Redmond purchased from 
Isaac Holloway 78 acres of farmland in the 
New Hope Township of Iredell County, 
North Carolina. He moved there with his 
family shortly thereafter. With other lands 
purchased or inherited later this farm became 
the nerve center of a thriving enterprise of 
several hundred acres and, quite well, sup- 
ported a healthy and hearty family of six sons, 
two daughters and more than thirty slaves. 

L to R: Dean Redmond, Peggy, Sandra and Ronald. 

Upon the death of Hosea Redmond in 
1865, this farm was among the lands that 
passed to his youngest son, G. Washington 
Redmond, who continued the farming opera- 
tions with several of the slaves living on in the 
same huts as farm tenants. Among these 
slaves was a black preacher. Jack Redmond, a 
very large and powerful man who became 
something of a patriarch among the black 
people of the area. Washington raised a fami- 
ly of two sons and four daughters. 

When Washington Redmond died in 1 897, 
this farm passed to his youngest son, Cicero 
C. Redmond, who continued the farming 
operations while becoming a merchant and 
miller as added occupations. Cicero and his 
wife, Vertie, raised a family of seven sons and 
one daughter. They built a home in 1912 on 
the farm just a short distance from the origi- 
nal homeplace of Hosea Redmond. 

Upon the death of Cicero C. Redmond in 
1962, this farm passed to his children, the 
fourth generation, who own and operate the 
farm. Submitted by Dean Redmond 


This century farm located about ten miles 
northwest of Statesville was purchased in 
1870 by Calvin M. Sharpe. When he pur- 

Mrs. Charles Walter Sharpe and her six sons, L to R: 
Dwight, McCoy, Conway, Mrs. Charles Sharpe, 
Harold, Kenneth and Forrest. 


chased the 228 acres of land, it included a 
plantation house that had been built by a cap- 
tain who served in the Revolutionary War. 
The house was built around 1 820 and was sur- 
rounded by small buildings which had housed 
slaves prior to the Civil War. A blacksmith 
shop was also near the main house. The main 
portion of the house is still standing and is 
included in the National Register of Historic 

Calvin Sharpe reared six children on this 
farm, several of whom purchased nearby land 
to establish their own farms as they married 
and left home. A son, Charles Walter, 
remained on the homeplace and inherited the 
land through his father's will. He continued to 
do general farming of the land and was assist- 
ed by the six sons and one daughter who were 
born to him and his wife Emma. 

In 1919 Charles Walter purchased an 
adjoining 96 acres to expand the farm and the 
family moved to a large house that was 
already built on the land. As the children grew 
and later married, three of the sons remained 
on this farm working it for their full-time 
occupations. The sons grew crops of cotton, 
wheat, and oats. They also owned some dairy 
cows to provide milk for their families and 
eventually sold milk to the Carnation Milk 
Company when the company sent milk trucks 
on routes to pick up the product. 

Around 1950 the Sharpe brothers began 
specializing in growing certified hybrid seed 
corn along with other small grains. They oper- 
ated a wholesale seed business for their prod- 
ucts. For several years they grew experimental 
seed crops for North Carolina State Universi- 
After operating a thriving, successful farm 
for over 60 years together, Harold, McCoy 
and Kenneth have since passed away and the 
farm is now being operated by their children 
who continue to work it on a part-time basis. 
Much of this century farm has been turned 
into pastureland with grazing herds of Black 
Angus cattle. Submitted by Linda Sharpe Goodin 


The Stevenson name is legendary in the 
Iredell County area. Ancestry of the family, as 
is true of many other Scotch-Irish, can be 
traced back to the lowlands of Scotland. 

In 1875 John William Stevenson added this two sto- 
ry front section on the existing one story farmhouse. 

The first settlers came south from Pennsyl- 
vania and Maryland in the early 1 750s. They 
found it comparatively easy to establish 
homes and rear large families. The Catawba 
Indians were peaceful and helpful neighbors, 

but the sudden attacks of the warlike Chero- 
kees from the west forced them to take refuge 
from time to time in Fort Dobbs. 

The original property was purchased in 
1 76 1 for the sum of ten shillings sterling mon- 
ey. The land purchase was through Lord 
Granville instead of land speculators and 
contained 369 acres. 

The first home on this site, located .8 of a 
mile east of Third Creek, Statesville, was a 
one-story farmhouse built for John William 
Stevenson. In 1875 he added the two story 
frame front section with exterior and chim- 
neys, distinguished by a delicate sawn-work 
eaves ornament. 

This has been a continuous farm family and 
the property now comprises 100 acres after 
being divided among family heirs. The origi- 
nal land grant hangs in the original homeplace 
occupied by Mrs. John D. Stevenson and her 
son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. 
Charles G. Stevenson. The farm operation 
has been handled by Charles Stevenson for 
the past 35 years. 

Submitted by Charles G. Stevenson 


When Evan Jackson Thomas returned 
from the Civil War, he and his wife Laura 
bought land in the Turnersburg township of 
Iredell County. They bought this land from a 
Turner family who was moving to Texas. 

On this homestead Evan and Laura raised 
five boys and one girl. Evan increased his 
acreage until his death in 1888. Laura out- 
lived two of her sons and remained on the 
homestead with her daughter, Janie Thomas. 
Laura died in 1932 at the age of 99. Janie's 
nephew Robert Thomas and his bride, Thel- 
ma came to live with Janie at the homestead 
at this time. 

Robert had polio at the age of four years 
and walked with crutches all of his adult life. 
The farm was under his management until 
Janie's death in 1967, after which he and 
Thelma inherited the farm. Robert raised 
mostly grain and hay, although he did raise 
cotton in the early years. Because Robert used 
crutches, most of the time he supervised the 
work, although he was known to drive a trac- 
tor in a pinch. One example is that a field 
needed to be plowed and there was no help 
available. Robert climbed on the tractor and 
drove to the field. Unfortunately he left his 
crutches in his truck and when the tractor 
malfunctioned, he had to crawl to his truck 
which was parked one-half mile away to get 
tools. Robert and Thelma by this time had a 
total acreage of 300 acres. Robert supervised 
the hay operation until his death at the age of 
80 in 1983, although he had rented the grain 
acreage for the last few years. At his death, the 
farm was deeded to his two daughters, Addie 
and Josephine. 

At the present time, the daughters rent the 
farm which is still growing grain and hay. 

Submitted by Addie Thomas Bradsher 


In 1876 Wesley Privette and his wife, the 
former Sarah Rash, purchased approximately 
200 acres of land about five miles north of 
Statesville in what is known today as the 
Chipley Ford community near South River 
Baptist Church. 

The steam thrashing machine that killed Willia, 
Frances Weston, 1901. 

Two thirds of the Privette farm, in its early 
years, consisted of woodlands and the prima- 
ry source of income was derived from the sale 
of corn, wheat, cotton and milk from a few 

The first buildings on the Privette farm 
were a two-story log house and a log barn. 
Original equipment included a steam tractor, 
mules, a Fordson tractor, etc. In early years, 
since whole milk could not be sold, cream was 
skimmed off the milk and marketed. 

Wesley and Sarah Privette had several chil- 
dren. However, the farm was later turned 
over to a daughter, Armenda, and her hus- 
band, William Frances Weston. Frances was 
killed on the farm on July 12, 1901, when he 
was crushed between a steam engine tractor 
and a thrashing machine. 

In 1914a new house was built even though 
the original log house was still used. In 1932 
there was a new barn built and sometime lat- 
er, both the original log barn and house were 

By 1918 the farm had transferred to anoth- 
er descendant, a son of Frances and Armenda 
Weston — Wesley Oren Weston and his wife, 
Esther Cross Weston. 

W.O. Weston cleared more land and grew 
more cotton, corn, wheat and oats. In addi- 
tion, he had a steam engine and a sawmill. 

By the time W.O. Weston retired from the 
family farm business, his herd had increased 
from three cows to approximately 30 cows. 
Milking was done by hand and the Westons 
grew feed on the farm for the cattle. 

A block "milking parlor," which included 
20 stalls for the convenience of electric milk- 
ing, was added to the farm in 1940. W.O. 
Weston continued to work the grain crops and 
a few cows he did not sell, even after his retire- 

After W.O. and Esther Weston retired 
about 1975, the next descendants to operate 
and manage the farm were their son and 
grandson Wesley Gilbert and Wesley Boyd 

Boyd Weston began helping with the farm 
operations while he was attending elementary 
school. By the time he completed his studies 
at West Iredell High School he had built his 
herd to about 20 cows. 

The farm today is a partnership of Wesley 
Gilbert Weston, Wesley Boyd Weston and 
Beatrice D. Weston. It is identified by the 
name Twin Oaks Jersey Farm on which 70 all 
Jersey cows of a herd of approximately 100 
are milked. 

W.O. and Esther reside in the early 1900 
farm home and own the farm. He is 92 and she 
is 9 1 . Submitted by Wesley Boyd Weston 

Iredell — Johnston 

Johnston County 


This land was originally owned by Pinkney 
Partin, who married Lucy Stewart in 1828. 
This couple were the grandparents of my 
mother, Mary Lenna Smith. My grandfather, 
James Archie Smith, married Lucy Ann Par- 
tin in 1 877, from whom the century farm was 
inherited. My mother received her share of 
the farm on October 23, 1 929 after her father 
died in August of that year. 

The land was deeded to Evett Denning, 
Annie Lee Allen, Louise Miley, Florence Sor- 
rell, Robert Denning and David Denning, 
April 24, 1947. 

Part of the house which was built in 1849 
stands today. It was built in two sections, the 
big house and the kitchen. The kitchen, din- 
ing room and dairy were separate units. At 
one end of the porch stood the dairy where 
milk was kept. Back of the kitchen was a big 
pantry, where the meal and flour were stored 
in barrels. Lard was also stored here in 25 
pound lard stands. 

There was a dirt walkway between the 
kitchen and the big house. To enter the big 
house, which was built high off the ground (no 
underpinning), one had to climb many steps 
to get on the porch. Over the right of the front 
door stood a washstand which held a bucket 
of drinking water. Usually a nice clean gourd, 
or dipper stayed in the bucket of water which 
was always fresh from a nearby well. 

From the porch one entered a big bedroom 
with a fireplace. Back of that room was the 
parlor; on either side of that room were two 
bedrooms and over the left was Aunt Candis' 
room. We all enjoyed sleeping in her room 
because of the soft feather beds. The house 
had a porch on the front and back, also a big 
open upstairs that could be used when the 
house was overcrowded with guests. My 
grandfather's house was the meeting place for 
everyone to have a good time and always feel 
welcome. Submitted by Annie Lee D. Allen 


Since 1 833 the Atkinsons have owned and 
farmed this land in Johnston County. Thom- 
as Atkinson bought 312 acres from Gaston 
Lockhart on January 12, 1833. Thomas 
Atkinson died in 1836 leaving 412 acres of 
land to his wife, Patience, and 1 00 acres to his 
son John. At the death of Patience Atkinson, 
the 312 acres bought from Gaston Lockhart 
was to be divided equally between his four 
children: daughters, Sally Gaddon, Loverd, 
son, John and son, Bennet. 

The Alvin Atkinson home built about 1890. 

In 1 866 John Atkinson deeded 400 acres of 
land to son Thomas Atkinson. 

On February 5, 1876, Thomas Atkinson 
and wife, Elizabeth Godwin Atkinson deeded 
1 50 acres to son, Alvin H. Debro Atkinson. 
Alvin Debro Atkinson, born August 24, 1 863, 
and Bethany Godwin, born January 30, 1 860, 
were married September 22, 1887. They had 
four children: Willie Eli, born September 23, 
1888; Montie, born May 27, 1892; Harvey, 
born July 17, 1895 and Ora, born March 20, 
1900, died April 24, 1920. Montie Atkinson 
married Fredrick Arthur Pike October 20, 
1915; Margaret, born March 26, 1917. 

On May 14, 1921 A.D. Atkinson and wife 
Bethany deeded to Montie A. Pike 65.5 acres 
also five sixths of an acre known as the dwell- 
ing house lot of the said Montie Pike. N.R. 
Pike was J. P. for deed. Edith Larraine Pike 
born March 22, 1930. In 1934 Frederick, 
Arthur and Montie bought 39 acres of A.D. 
Atkinson estate. Bethany died June 9, 1928; 
Alvin died January 17, 1934. In the 1920-30s 
a Delco plant was bought to generate electrici- 
ty for these homes. Frederick Arthur Pike 
owned a Fordson Tractor in the 1930s, 
farmed his land along with mules, horses and 
did field and yard work for others for extra 
money, also was a mule dealer. He and Mon- 
tie had several milk cows and sold milk and 
butter in Kenly. They also had chickens and 
sold eggs and dressed chickens and hens were 
sold. Montie and Edith made cakes for sale. 
Montie made dresses for extra money. Fred- 
erick, with help of neighbors built houses, 
pack houses, mule stables, wash houses and 
smokehouses for meat from hogs killed. 
Crops raised were tobacco, corn, wheat, soy- 
beans, hay and cotton. 

On December 24, 1 944 Margaret married 
Lyle Snyder. Frederick Arthur Pike died 
April 16, 1946. Electricity came through the 
country that year. 

Edith Pike married William Lauhinghouse 
of Wilson County on November 3, 1951. In 
1952 he bought Margaret Pike Snyder's half 
of Pike farm. William Laughinghouse, Jr. 
born November 8, 1952; Larry Laughing- 
house, born September 18, 1954; William 
Laughinghouse, Sr. died July 5, 1955. Janu- 
ary 4, 1959, Edith Laughinghouse married 
William Bryan Richardson of Kenly; Elaine 
Richardson, born February 15, 1960; Wil- 
liam Bryan Richardson, Jr. born September 
3, 1961. Betty Lou Richardson, born October 
26, 1963. William Richardson Sr. died Janu- 
ary 3, 1978; Montie Atkinson Pike had died 
April 15, 1977. Edith Pike (Laughinghouse) 
Richardson still owns this 104 acres. 

Submitted by Edith Pike Laughinghouse 


Since 1 833 the Atkinsons have owned and 
farmed this land in Johnston County. Thom- 
as Atkinson bought 312 acres from Gaston 
Lockhart January 12, 1833. Thomas Atkin- 
son died in 1836, leaving 412 acres of land to 
his wife, Patience, and 1 00 acres to son, John. 
At the death of Patience Atkinson, the 312 
acres bought from Gaston Lockhart was to be 
divided equally between his four children, 
daughters Sally Gaddon, Loverd, son John 
and son Bennet. 

In 1 866, John Atkinson deeded 400 acres of 
land to son Thomas Atkinson. 



The house Willie Atkinson built in early 1913. He 
and his wife lived here until their death. Since 1977 
it has been lived in by Bonnie Atkinson Greene. 

On February 5, 1876, Thomas Atkinson 
and wife, Elizabeth Godwin Atkinson, deed- 
ed 1 50 acres to son Alvin H. Debro Atkinson. 
Alvin Debro Atkinson born August 24, 1 863, 
and Bethany Godwin born January 30, 1 860, 
were married September 23, 1 887. They had 
four children, Willie Eli born September 23, 
1888; Montie born May 27, 1892; Harvey 
born July 17, 1895; and Ora born March 20, 
1900. On March 28, 1919, Alvin Debro 
Atkinson and wife, Bethany Atkinson deeded 
45 acres of land to son Willie Eli Atkinson. 
Alvin Debro Atkinson died January 1 7, 1 934. 
Bethany Atkinson died June 9, 1928. 

Willie Eli Atkinson and Nelia McDonald, 
born in Richmond County June 12, 1885, 
were married February 4, 1913. They had 
three children. Clifford Merlin Atkinson born 
December 1, 1913, was killed on New Geor- 
gia Island in the South Pacific during World 
War II on September 4, 1 943. Clifford Atkin- 
son had one daughter, Lois Atkinson Zech- 
man, born July 23, 1939. Uva Mae Atkinson 
Jones Pittman was born May 20, 1915. Uva 
Atkinson Jones had two children, Benny 
Jones, born August 31, 1948 and Sybil Gail 
Jones, born October 1 9, 1950. Uva Atkinson 
Jones Pittman died April 25, 1984. Bonnie 
Maxine Atkinson Greene was born February 
15, 1917. 

Willie Eli Atkinson died June 25, 1960. 
Nelia Atkinson died January 15, 1958. They 
farmed this land growing tobacco, corn, soy- 
beans and cotton for a few years. During the 
depression years, Willie Atkinson truck 
farmed and sold his vegetables in Kenly for 
extra income. Nelia Atkinson had milk cows 
and sold milk by the pint and quart to custom- 
ers in Kenly. She also made chocolate milk 
and sold it in half pint bottles for five cents. 
These were sold from coolers in service sta- 

In 1935, Margaret Pike and Bonnie Atkin- 
son carried a petition, from door to door, for 
the neighbors to sign, so the R.E.A. would 
extend electricity into the country around the 
Glendale Community. 

At the death of Willie Atkinson he willed 
these 45 acres of land to daughters, Uva 
Atkinson Jones and Bonnie Atkinson Greene. 
The deed is still in Willie Atkinson's name. 
Benny Jones and Sybil Jones Trent are joint 
owners with Bonnie Atkinson Greene. 

Submitted by Bonnie A. Greene 


This homeplace was originally "The Need- 
ham Whitley Place," which Adolphus D. 
Atkinson remodeled and added rooms in the 
year 1 9 1 6. On the right back side of the house 
are three large rooms, a large back porch and 
a butlers pantry. Adolphus D. Atkinson and 
his wife, Mary Jane Barham Atkinson (Mol- 
lie), reared their fourteen children here. 

Home of Mary Jane Barham (Mollie) Atkinson and 
Adolphus D. Atkinson. Lois Atkinson Andrews 
reared here. 

Several changes occurred during the time 
that Adolphus owned the farm. They no lon- 
ger timbered for its by-products, and not any 
flax nor indigo were grown. Also, sheep for 
meat as well as wool by products, was no lon- 
ger raised. 

Stock laws came into being and were 
enforced so each class of animal had a large 
fenced pasture with a running branch through 
each pasture. 

Rural Electrification Administration 
(REA) came through in the fall of 1938 with 
electricity for the farm. 

Adolphus D. Atkinson divided "The Need- 
ham Whitley Place" into four farms and gave 
four daughters a farm: Claudia Atkinson, Zil- 
phia Atkinson Brantley, and Mavis Atkinson 
Thorne. Zilphia Atkinson Brantley has the 
farm with the homesite on it. 

Submitted bv Lois May Atkinson Andrews 


The Bagley Farm was first started in 1816 
when Theophilus Bagley bought 1 50 acres of 
land from William Hinnant. During his life- 
time he acquired a considerable amount of 
land. Later he transferred some of this land to 
his several children. 

Thomas Bagley, son of Theophilus Bagley, 
died in 1 85 1 at a young age, leaving a wife and 
four children who were raised by their grand- 
father. His wife, Trecinda Pike Bagley, remar- 
ried. In 1856 the land was divided among the 
children: Sarah, Leroy, Demetrius and 

Some of the children sold their land, but 
Demetrius H. Bagley kept his and acquired a 
great deal more during his lifetime, most of 
which was in Beulah Township. 

Demetrius Bagley gave his sons, Oscar, 
Thomas and Fletcher several hundred acres 
of land each. 

Thomas W. Bagley left his land to his chil- 
dren: Grace and Mamie sold their share of the 
land to their brother, Worth Bagley, and Vir- 
ginia and Margaret sold their shares to their 
brother, Demetrius H. Bagley. 

Demetrius H. Bagley (D.H.) his grandfa- 
ther's namesake, now owns his father's home- 
place. He also purchased his uncle Oscar Bag- 
ley's land, as well as several other parcels of 
land, approximately 550 acres, which were 
formerly owned by his grandfather. 

His brother, Worth Bagley (deceased) has a 
small adjoining farm which was also his 
grandfather's land. 

In 1870 Demetrius Bagley and his mother 
Trecinda Pike Bagley Hinnant deeded a piece 
of land for the Holly Springs Church to be 
built on. It celebrated its 1 00th birthday a few 
years ago. 

The Bagley farm is proud of the fact that 
there is a plot of land which is said to have 
been an Indian burial ground. 

There is also a plot of land set aside by 
Demetrius Bagley for a burial ground for 
blacks. This is still being used today. 

Submitted by Myrtle N. and D.H. Bagley 


We have 64 acres in our farm and it isn't 
the "homeplace" home. It's a part of the same 
farm, but my late husband's brother, D.H. 

The Bagley farm. 


Bagley, owns the old homeplace part of the 

Worth Bagley (my deceased husband) built 
our house and we moved into it December 24, 
1948. There was a three room house on this 
same spot and we lived in it down the road a 
bit and now use it for a tenant house. 

Worth's grandfather, Demetrius Bagley 
first owned the land and gave it to Worth's 
father, William Thomas Bagley. After his 
death his wife, Minnie Wellons Bagley, rented 
out the land in order to raise the children who 
were minors at the time, except one, Grace. 
She was married to Robert Langley of Tar- 
boro and lived in New York at that time. They 
are now in Washington, D.C. 

Worth's grandfather, Demetrius Bagley, 
the brother of Lee Roy Bagley, who was a Pro- 
fessor at Wake Forest College, was the first 
owner to what is known as the Bagley land in 
Beulah township. There are papers that speak 
of it being Boyette's land before the Bagleys 
owned it, but we have never been able to find 
out what Boyette owned it. 

Submitted by Mrs. Worth Bagley 


The Baileys have been landowners and/or 
farmers in Johnston and Harnett Counties for 
the last 119 years. On the 27th of March, 
1868, Alfred Lemuel Bailey bought 614.5 
acres of land from James B. Stewart. The land 
lay both in Harnett County and Johnston 
County, lying on either side of the county 
lines divided by the run of Mingo. All the land 
located in Harnett County is still farmed by 
descendants of Alfred Lemuel Bailey, but 
none are named Bailey. 

On the 5th of December, 1 883, Alfred Lem- 
uel Bailey deeded 1 79 acres of land to Willis 
T. Bailey, his eldest son, who farmed the land 
until his death. The primary crops consisted 
of tobacco, cotton and corn. 

Willis T. Bailey and family, circa 1900. Luther 
Waylon Bailey is the oldest child in this photo. 

On the 26th of October, 1 926, Willis T. Bai- 
ley deeded 27 acres of land to Luther Waylon 
Bailey, his oldest son, who began clearing the 
land and farming it. Additional lands consist- 
ing of 137 acres of land were acquired by 
Luther Waylon Bailey from his brothers and 

Luther Waylon Bailey farmed the land 
until hisdeath in 1973. Luther Waylon Bailey 
had two sons, Glenard W. and Donald R. Bai- 
ley. Glenard returned from World War II in 
1 946 and farmed the land until 1 954 when he 
bought 1200 acres of land in Cumberland 

County. Glenard still resides in Cumberland 
County, but continues to have strong ties with 
the family farm in Johnston County. Donald 
returned from the army in 1948 and helped 
farm the land until he entered and graduated 
from the University of North Carolina in 
1954. He pursued a career in the federal gov- 
ernment and retired in 1980. Donald resided 
in Cumberland County, but also had close tier: 
to the family farm. Donald bought the Bailey 
homeplace and moved there in July 1988. 
This century farm will be owned by the Bai- 
leys well into the 2 1 st Century. 

Submitted by Donald R. Bailey 


The earliest known Boyettes living in the 
formerly much larger Johnston County were 
the Joseph and Sallie Langley Boyette family 
who lived in the Buckhorn area of what is now 
Wilson County between the late 1 700s and 

One of their sons, George, was given a land 
grant of 400 acres in the Glendale area of the 
present Johnston County in 1800 for which 
he paid the state "fifty shillings for each hun- 
dred acres." This land was inherited by his 
son, Larkin George in 1852. The land that is 
now the century farm, about 160 acres, was 
inherited by George Henry Boyette in 1885 
by David Larkin Boyette in 1928 and by Ray 
Boyette in 1 967. These were all father to son 
transactions. Except for a few acres sold to a 
neighbor by George Henry, all of the original 
land grant acres are still owned by various 
descendants of the original George. 

During all these years this farm has pro- 
duced a variety of crops — cotton, corn and 
tobacco as well as small grains, vegetables and 
cattle. The 1850 census shows that Larkin 
George had eight slaves. 

In 1981 the one-room slave house which 
was later used as a farm schoolhouse was 
restored and placed on the National Register 
of Historic Places, not only for its age but that 
it had the only original stick and mud chim- 
ney left in the state. 

Two major home restorations have been 
made on the farm by descendants, the Larkin 
George Boyette family home built about 1 880 
and the David Larkin Boyette home built in 
1 920, which is now owned by Don and Chris 
Boyette, son and daughter-in-law of Ray Boy- 

The Boyette family has had great pride in 
its rural heritage, has been active in church, 
community, educational and governmental 
affairs hoping to preserve for its children the 
good things in life that it has enjoyed in the 
past. Submitted by Ray A. Boyette 


Little is known about the history of this 
farm. It is located on N. C. Highway 1010 less 
than one mile from the Johnston-Wake Coun- 
ty line in the Cleveland Township (formerly 
called Pleasant Grove). 

The farmhouse sits on land now owned by 
a Johnson, first name unknown. Approxi- 
mately 50 acres is presently owned by Alfred 
Tennyson Taylor, Jr. who is the great grand- 
son of Ransom Bridgers, the original owner. 

An 1 870 census listed the Bridgers (spelled 
Bridges in the census) family. The Bridges 
were listed as follows: Cane Bridges (47 years 
old) and wife, Isbell (36 years old), with chil- 
dren: Clary (19 years old), Stanly (15 years 
old), Rosana ( 1 2 years old), Caroline ( 1 years 
old), Eliza (8 years old), Nathan (6 years old), 
Henry (4 years old), and Andrew (2 years old); 
Julious Bridges (27 years old) and wife, Emo- 
line (22 years old), with children Henry (4 
years old); and Ransom Bridges (47 years old) 
and wife, Adline (4 1 years old), with children 
George (17 years old), Betty (15 years old), 
Ransom (12 years old), Thomas (10 years 
old), Fanney (8 years old), Troy (6 years old), 
Mary (4 years old), and Amy/Anny (2 years 

The only other mention of the Bridgers' 
Farm is an interview with Caroline Richard- 
son, a slave on the Bridgers' place, that 
appears in "The American Slave: A Compos- 
ite Autobiography." 

Submitted by Alfred T. Taylor. Jr. 


This farm dates back to 1 845. John Daniel 
Howell was born 1809 and during his early 
years he accumulated land in Wayne and 
Johnston Counties. 

An aerial view of the Brit t farm. Princeton. N.C. 

In 1845 he sold his land in Wayne County 
and bought additional land in Johnston 
County from Levi Holloway to add to his 
Johnston County land. He reared his 1 1 chil- 
dren on his land (about 300 acres) and at his 
death in 1881 his heirs inherited equal parcels 
of his land. 

Margaret H. Britt's father inherited and 
bought his sister's portions, a total of 81 
acres. He had two heirs by his first wife and 
seven by Margaret's mother. Margaret's 
father died in 1928 and her mother died in 

In 1 960 Margaret and her four brothers and 
two sisters inherited the entire farm except 
the portion for their half brother, who inherit- 
ed the two parts designated for him and his 

Margaret's sister, Mary, kept her portion 
and Margaret and her family bought her 
brother's and other sister's part. Since 1960 
Margaret's family has owned this part of the 
original John Daniel Howell farm that has 
been in their family since 1845. Margaret's 
sons, along with the other heirs, intend to 
keep the farm in the family. 

Submitted by Margaret 11. Britt 



The Denning farm. 

and lives in Coats. The grandsons also help on 
the farm. 

At one time the farm probably produced 
rice as an old ricer hollowed out log has been 
passed on to a granddaughter of Tempie Dix- 
on Denning. Tobacco was a major crop, 
beginning with wood fired barns, then to ker- 
osene fired and now bulk barn farming. Soy- 
beans, potatoes, tobacco and corn are now 
being farmed. A pond referred to as "Round 
Pond" as the land marker in the 1913 deed 
has been used for irrigation of plant beds of 

Submitted by Mr. and Mrs. Lamas Denning 


Three and one-half miles from Smithfield 
on Road 1010 in the heart of Johnston Coun- 
ty lies the century farm and Avera homestead 
known as Elmhurst Farm. Elmhurst contains 
approximately 1 50 acres of land and is 
bounded on the south by Middle Creek. 


Behind the house were buildings housing 
the kitchen and washroom. A meat house still 
stands. As time passed and the need grew, a 
dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and porches 
were added. The porches have been a play- 
ground for the many children growing up on 
Elmhurst and now for the grandchildren. 

Behind the house in the so-called orchard is 
a graveyard surrounded by an iron picket 
fence with three large marble tombstones. 
They are the graves of: 

(father) John Washington Avera — 1814- 

(mother) Ann Mariah Avera — 1 8 1 7- 1 896 
(son) John William Avera — 1852-1884 
John Washington Avera had no heirs and 
left this farm along with others to William 
David Avera, his nephew, and the father of 
Samuel Thomas (Tom) Avera, the present 

Tom and his ten older brothers and sisters 
grew up on Elmhurst. Tom and his wife, Eve- 
lyn raised their five children in the home and 
still reside there and manage the farm. 

On June 20, 1987 a wedding reception was 
held at the homeplace for Tom and Evelyn's 
daughter. Sue and John Booker, II. In Sep- 
tember, 1987 the first family reunion in 28 
years was held there. Forty-six of Tom's 
brothers, sisters, their children, wives, hus- 
bands and grandchildren attended the festive 
family gathering. A videotape was made by 
Tom, Jr. and M.C.ed by his brother-in-law, 
Andy Gemmell. The tape shows a tour of the 
home, grounds and graveyard and has rare wit 
and is treasured by all. Submitted by Tom Avera 


The original tract of 230 acres was pur- 
chased from Lazarus Pearson January 22, 
1 85 1 by Jesse Brown. The farm has been oper- 
ated as a family farm raising tobacco, cotton, 
corn, wheat, vegetable garden and some live- 
stock. Jesse also operated a blacksmith shop 
which was a place the neighbors gathered to 
exchange gossip and ideas. He was a member 
of the lower house of the General Assembly 
from Johnston County at the time of his death 
May 2, 1883. The farm and his possessions 
were divided among his 1 1 children and wife 
according to his will. 

Waylon H. Brown and family taken in 1905. 

Waylon H. Brown, the last son of Jesse 
Brown, who was born December 31, 1875, 
purchased the land from the other heirs. The 
farm continued to be operated as a family 
farm. Waylon Brown was the father of six 
sons and three daughters. His interests were 
varied — farming, being justice of the peace, 
teaching singing schools in his neighborhood 
and politicking. At his death July 19, 1943, 
the farm was again divided among his chil- 

This part of the original tract is recorded 
under the name of J. Herman Brown (heir) 
and continues to be farmed as a family farm. 

Submitted by Jesse Herman Brown 


Lamas Floyd and Janie Adams Denning 
live on Rt. 1 , Benson on a farm located on the 
line of Johnston and Harnett Counties. Deeds 
show that John and Tempie Dixon purchased 
the land in the 1840s and then deeded the 
property to Ben Dixon and heirs on August 
30, 1881, which was registered in Book 4, 
pages 415-416 on March 9, 1886. The land 
then passed from Ben and Nancy Coats Dix- 
on to Tempie Ann Dixon Denningon January 
29, 1913 for 123 acres in consideration of 
$10. It was filed in Book 215, page 245 on 
March 6 1926. 

An old well, filled in before 1 950, marks the 
site of a "homeplace" and a log home was also 
on the property. A more recent home in the 
style of the kitchen separate from the main 
house was built of hewn heart of pine boards 
and assembled with pegs. Its foundation was 
of pine block and the chimneys were built of 
rock and mortar. The house is still occupied 
by a retired farm worker. 

Lamas and Janie Denning's two children 
grew up on the farm. Gary, now farming the 
land, has a son named Justin; and Rhonda 
Denning Stephenson has a son named Kurt 

Avera family reunion in September, 1987. 

The home which is thought to be over 100 
years old, originally consisted of two rooms 
upstairs and two rooms downstairs connected 
by a central hall and a front porch. Each room 
has a fireplace, wide heart pine floorboards 
and wainscoating. Paint was removed from 
the woodwork in an upstairs bedroom and a 
downstairs mantle to reveal the rich pretty 
pine wood. Hand hewn nails and pegs were 
found used when an upstairs ceiling had to be 
replaced. On each side of the front porch are 
rope swings with board seats that have hung 
there 80 years. Ropes have been replaced, but 
the seats are the original boards. Also, the long 
benches on each side of the porch date way 


On July 14, 1871 Jeremiah L. George pur- 
chased a 404 acre tract of land lying on the 
south side of Stone Creek in Bentonville and 
Meadow Townships in Johnston County 
from S.W. and Elizabeth Blackmon. About 
one year later, on December 1 8, 1 872, he pur- 
chased 90 acres of land from Tyrus Thornton 
which lay adjacent to the former tract. Again, 
in 1875 Jeremiah George bought 30 acres of 
land from Julias A. and Lottie Lee on the west 
side of the original 404 acre tract south of 
Stone Creek. Later, about 1890, he also pur- 
chased 492 acres located adjacent to and on 
the north side of Stone Creek from his previ- 
ous land purchases. Jeremiah George used 


The Preston T. George homeplace, circa 1925. 

these lands for general farming and the pro- 
duction of naval stores. 

Jeremiah L. George died in 1 896 and one of 
his two heirs, Preston T. George, received all 
of the above described lands. In the 1930s 
Preston George purchased 45 acres from 
Arthur A. Williams located in Bentonville 
Township. This new land and his original 
lands were used for general farming, live- 
stock, lumber and naval stores production. 
Preston George also owned a cotton gin and a 
sawmill located on these lands during the ear- 
ly 1900s. 

In 1948 the late Preston T. George's estate 
was divided among seven heirs. M. Tryon 
George, one of the heirs, inherited 109 acres 
of which 100 acres was a part of the original 
404 acres conveyed to Jeremiah L. George by 
S.W. and Elizabeth Blackmon in 1871. In 
1962 M. Tryon George inherited 54 acres 
from the division of the Annie W. George 
dower tract and the Jerry L. George division. 
Two additional tracts totaling 64 acres were 
purchased from Virginia George Johnson in 
1969. These 227 acres are currently being 
used by M. Tryon George and his son, Samuel 
L. George, as partners, for the production of 
fruits, vegetables, timber and general farm- 
ing. Our plan is to continue the present use of 
this land into the next century. 

Submitted by Tryon George 


The beginning crops were cotton, corn and 
peas. To get seed for the new cotton crop, each 
person picked out their shoe full of seed, both 


children and adults. The family made shoes 
from deer hides and cloth from cotton pro- 
duced on the farm. The crops were grown on 
lowland without any fertilizer. 

The original home built in the 1830s was 
for Jordan Godwin. The J.J. Godwin (Rich- 
ard) old house which was built in 1 899 is still 
being used as a home. The 1907 house was 
built for Moose Godwin, and is now used for 

During the Civil War the family kept a 
lookout from the upstairs porch for Yankees. 
They would hide the horses and mules in the 
woods and also bury their meat so the Yan- 
kees could not find it. An old slave lady told 
that the Yankees tore down the local church 
and used materials to build a bridge over the 
little river. After the war, the people rebuilt 
the church (Old Beulah) which exists and is 
used today. 

The original owner, James Godwin, was 
born in 1775. Jordan Godwin was born on 
April 26, 1 806. Ransom Godwin was born in 
1836. Jordan (J.J. or Richard) Godwin was 
born in 1861. The present owner is William 
Paul Godwin, born August 1 5, 19 1 1 . 

Jordan's homeplace was built in 1 830. The 
house consisted of two rooms with two fire- 
places downstairs, two rooms with two fire- 
places upstairs and one room with one fire- 
place out back. The family cooked in the 
fireplace. The home had a porch on the front 
and on the front of the second story. Vandals 
destroyed the homeplace in December 1986 
by fire. Submitted by William Paul Godwin 


The Hatchers came to North Carolina from 
Virginia and were Scotch Irish. Benjamine 
Hatcher married February 28, 1789. He 
bought or was given land in 1791 and by 1812, 
he owned 750 acres. It was located between 
Little River and Great Buffalo Swamp in 
Johnston County. He had four children. The 
two sons were Austin and Benjamine, Jr. 

Jordan Godwin 's homeplace. built in the 1830s. 

The old Charlie Hatcher homeplace, built circa 

On June 24, 1813 Benjamine, Jr. married 
Polly Watkins. They had four children. The 
two sons were Robert and John. 

In 1 824 Robert acquired 1 50 acres from his 
father. He later owned around 300 acres, also 
from Little River to Great Buffalo Swamp. 

Benjamine Jr's. old log house was about 2 A 
of a mile east of Highway 39 near Buffalo 
Creek as it is called now. 

Benjamine Sr. divided his land up; until 
1 836 he had only 1 7 1 acres left. 

He made a will August 20, 1840 and died 
soon afterwards. 

Robert the son of Benjamine, Jr., was born 
March 25, 1816. He married Piety Bailey 
October 17, 1837. They had seven children. 
In 1844 Robert received 75 acres from his 
father, Benjamine, Jr. Later he owned 
between 500 and 600 acres. This was still in 
about the same area as his parents and grand- 
father. The children all settled around in the 
area. Hardie farmed and had a sawmill; 
Hiram and Charlie just farmed and raised 
most everything they ate and always had extra 
to sell to buy things needed. 

Robert went to the house to hive some bees 
and got stung and died in a few days. 

Charlie married Charlotte Brown Novem- 
ber 7, 1 837. They had seven children. One son 
died young. One got killed from a runaway 
mule at 22. One was an undertaker in Dunn. 
The two other boys farmed along with their 

Eddie married in 1910 and had one daugh- 
ter, Hazel. Eddie and Robert received about 
95 acres each. Both later bought more land, 
but not adjoining the family land. 

Eddie received the homeplace which is still 
owned and loved by his daughter Hazel Cross. 
He once had three tenants plus what he tend- 
ed. In the 50s, his son-in-law, Henry Cross, 
bought the first tractor and as more machine- 
ry was used there was no need for mules. Hen- 
ry later tended about 200 acres by himself and 
raised registered Berkshire hogs. 

Now since he is deceased the land is rented 
out, but it is hoped that there will continue to 
be someone to rent it to. 

The land is very dear to the family. There is 
one son and one granddaughter. Hazel and 
Henry had one son, Wayne. Wayne married 
Catharine Strickland, and they have a daugh- 
ter, Catharine Paige Cross. 

Submitted by Hazel Hatcher Cross 


Hardy Hinnant, was the owner of 1650 
acres of land bordered by Contenta Creek and 
Buckhorn Reservoir. At the time Hardy Hin- 
nant was owner, the land was in Johnston 
County, the Buckhorn Community. At this 
time it is a part of Wilson County, formed 
from a part of Johnston, Wayne, Nash and 
Edgecombe Counties. This land was a portion 
of a land grant from England, registered in 
Johnston County Book 2, page 1 . Hardy Hin- 
nant was born in 1 789 and died in 1 850. His 
son, William Hinnant, was born November 
25, 1831, and died 1912. Thomas B. Hinnant, 
son of William Hinnant, was born 1870 and 
died in 1932. He was the father of Blenn Hin- 
nant who was born October 22, 1 904. 

During Hardy Hinnant's lifetime the main 
income was from turpentine, corn, fruit and 
vegetables. During William Hinnant's life- 
time his main source of income was corn, cot- 
ton, wheat, turpentine and vegetables for 
home use. During the lifetime of Thomas B. 
Hinnant the home house burned in 1 925 and 
was rebuilt in 1926. This house burned in 
1931 and was rebuilt in 1931 on the same 

Thomas B. Hinnant died in the year 1932. 
This land was left to his wife, mother of Blenn 
Hinnant, who died in 1970. During her life- 
time the source of income was from tobacco, 
cotton, corn and fruit and vegetables. At the 



L to R: Lucy Hinnant; her father, William Hinnant; Alice R. Hinnant, who is holding up Blenn Hinnanl 
"child"; and Thomas B. Hinnant "husband and father, " 1905. 

death of Alice R. Hinnant, this land went to 
her son, Blenn Hinnant. The main source of 
income has been tobacco, corn and soybeans. 

During the lifetime of Thomas B. Hinnant, 
a farm shop was built to repair the farm equip- 
ment and tools used on the farm and to 
accommodate the neighbors, which is now in 
use as a neighborhood shop and has become a 
commercial shop. 

Blenn Hinnant died on November 19, 
1987, and the farm passed to his son Ralph 
Harold Hinnant. He lives in Kenly, N.C. 

Submitted by Blenn Hinnant; 
Revised by Harold Hinnant 


The first records of a deed to the Jeffreys 
land was recorded the 13th day of January, 
1870. The deed states that James and Julia 
Ann Jeffreys bought land from the owners of 
land adjoining his land which he had inherit- 
ed from his father, Robert J. Jeffreys. The 
land cost $480 for 145 acres. 

The kitchen was a separate building from 
the main house. It was told from generation to 
generation how hams, other foods, and valu- 
ables were hid between the walls of the bed- 
rooms in the "big house" to keep the Yankee 
soldiers from taking them during the Civil 
War. One son, Carmody, was killed during 
the war. 

In 1885 Jeffreys borrowed $100. The 
papers state that he mortgaged all "my crop, 
corn and cotton made on said land, 3 head of 
mules, named Charlie, Frank, Tom and one 
mare named Hussey and a 2-horse wagon and 
equipment. " He paid the mortgage off and 
did not lose his crops and horses. 

On the 2 1 st day of December 1 89 1 James 
Jeffreys deeded this land to his two sons J.C. 
and N.E. Jeffreys. The deed states "that 
James Jeffreys in consideration of the natural 
love and affection I have for my two sons, that 
the sum of one dollar each be paid to me by 
J.C. and N.E. Jeffreys." 

N.E. Jeffreys had three children. He gave 
each some land. In 1 946 Verona Jeffreys Hor- 
ton, oldest of children, deeded her land to 
Rebecca Horton Hinton, daughter. There are 
no buildings on the land. On the land, which 
is rented, tobacco, corn and beans are grown. 
There is also a wooded area with pines the 

dominate trees. 

Submitted by Rebecca Horton Hinton 


The first owner was Solomon Stephenson, 
who acquired it by a land grant in the 1 760s. 
His grandson, George Stephenson, sold it to 
my maternal grandfather, Edward Robert 
Johnson in 1877 where he lived until his 
death in 1 905. E.R. Johnson was a veteran of 
the Civil War, serving in the 53rd N.C. Regi- 
ment, Company "C," and was wounded in 
March 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia. 

The farm was left to my maternal grand- 
mother, Elizabeth Harrison Johnson, who 
died 19th of April, 1921. She willed the land 
to my mother's two sisters and one brother, 
namely: Vilas D. Johnson, Rena Johnson 
Myatt and Mina Johnson Higgins. Later, 
Mina Johnson Higgins acquired all of this 
property. At her death on 1 1th August, 1964 
it was willed to six of her nieces. This land was 
deeded to me in 1977 from my three sisters 
and three Myatt cousins. 

This farm consists of 348 acres, about 200 
of which are in woodlands. It is located in an 
historic part of Johnston County known as 
the Polenta Community. It is located on 
County Road 1514, one mile from Cleveland 
School, two miles from Interstate 40 and 
about 18 miles from Raleigh. The land bor- 
ders on Middle Creek. 

Submitted by George A. McLemore, Jr., M.D. 


Home to some people is just a word, but to 
my family it has a much deeper meaning of 
permanence and roots. Living on a farm has 
given us a sense of dwelling close to God and 
nature and of being a part of the universe. 

This farm has belonged to my family for 
more than 120 years. My great grandfather, 
Sidney Adams, gave it to my grandmother, 
Betty Eliza Adams as a homestead when she 
married Edmond W. Johnson. The house that 
they built to live in was mortised and draw- 
pinned. Not a single nail was used in its con- 
struction. It was made of long leaf pine which 
was then called pure light wood. 

My father, Charles Gattis Johnson, their 
only child, brought his bride to this same 
house in 1 903 as was the custom in those days. 

^"" ,r "»' , iiiiii 1<l!ltl!ii| ;|, <!« .11 

The original Johnson homestead, built in the late 
1800s, was constructed with mortise and drawpin 

About 1915, he renovated the house, dou- 
bling its size and adding a carbide lighting sys- 
tem which we used for many years. In the days 
before electricity, my sisters and I had the 
dirty job of cleaning the carbide out of the 
plant. How we hated that! But I still remem- 
ber the warm glow from the chandeliers 
whose globes were decorated with yellow ros- 
es. Unfortunately, the house burned in 1939, 
and this bit of our heritage was lost. 

My father built a new house and farmed as 
long as his health permitted, growing the 
crops suited to this area and livestock. I have 
heard that in the late 1800s Sidney Adams 
also ran a turpentine still for additional 
income. He tapped long leaf pines, distilled 
turpentine from the sap, and hauled it to ship- 
ping points in homemade wooden casks. 

After World War II and my father's death, 
my husband and I lived with my mother for a 
time before building our own place on the 
farm to raise chickens and children. I think 
my forefathers would be proud of the four 
sons we produced. 

I have checked deeds in the county court- 
house but cannot find any data on how my 
great grandfather came by this land. The farm 
originally was large enough to be called an 
estate as it consisted of many acres. Down 
through the years it has been divided among 
children, highways have come through and 
portions have been sold, so the remaining 
land in our possession is much smaller than 
the original homestead. 

Submitted by Cleo Johnson Williams 


In the year 1856 Henry M. Johnson built a 
large frame house on property that he owned 
in southern Johnston County between what is 
now Highways 50 and 701 near Mill Creek. In 
building his house, he used bricks for the 
foundation and chimneys that were kilned on 
the same plantation. The house was sur- 
rounded by barns, a separate kitchen, a 
smokehouse, orchards, a winery, a brick kiln 
and a cotton gin. He was a progressive farmer 
with large land holdings who produced cot- 
ton, corn, rice, grains and tobacco. He served 
one term in the North Carolina legislature 
and was a leader in his local community. On 
this plantation, he married four wives and 
reared his family of 1 1 children by his wives, 
Nancy Ann and Edith Ann. He died in 1921. 

The youngest of Henry's sons was George 
Rufus Johnson, who came into possession of 
the homeplace as part of his inheritance. He 



married Sophronia Morgan and they had six 
children, two of whom died in childhood. 
They remodeled the original house to make it 
more liveable. George, too, was a progressive 
farmer being one of the first farmers in the 
area to grow sweet potatoes for the market. He 
built a potato curing house on the farm which 
still stands. Other crops produced on the farm 
were livestock, tobacco, cotton, corn, soy- 
beans and grain. He farmed with mule-drawn 
equipment and used wood-fired tobacco 
barns. He provided his four children the 
opportunity to obtain a college education. 

Mr. and Mrs. George Rufus Johnson in front of Hen- 
ry M. Johnson 's homeplace after they remodeled it. 

In 1946 George's youngest daughter, Mil- 
dred, married Oliver Ayden Barefoot. They 
came to live with George and farmed his acre- 
age until he died in 1952. At this time, Mil- 
dred inherited the homeplace and later, with 
her husband, purchased the shares of her 
brother and sisters, all of whom married and 
moved away. The Barefoots remodeled the 
house again, modernized the farm operation 
and continued to farm the acreage. Mrs. Bare- 
foot also taught in the Johnston County 
School System. They have one daughter, 
Sophia Barefoot Patterson, who lives out of 
state. Mrs. Barefoot continues to live on and 
supervise the operation of the farm, although 
she is retired. Mr. Barefoot died December 6, 
1 988, after a prolonged illness. The future of 
the farm is uncertain. 

Submitted by Mrs. Ayden Barefoot 


Located on State Road 1 136 in Meadow 
Township is the farm of William Dayton Lee 
which records in the Johnston County court- 
house show was heired from his father, John 
Claudius. In 1919 three commissioners divid- 
ed the 288 acre farm heired from his father, 
John Jr., whose wife was Dorothy Smith, 
daughter of Aaron Smith, into six parts for 
each of the six children. The sons bought the 

The Lee homeplace in Newton Grove, N.C. 

sisters' shares. These farms are still owned by 
the sons' children. 

John Claudius, born in 1833, farmed and 
ran a store at Crossroads Corner. In 1861 
according to records, he enlisted in the Civil 
War and was commissioned a second lieuten- 
ant in Company I, 62nd Regiment. Later he 
resigned as officer, then joined the Cavalry 
until October 1 864. Two brothers also served, 
Mordecia, killed in battle, and Walter wound- 
ed in battle. 

At age 60, John Claudius who had never 
married brought his bride of 20, Minnie Fran- 
ces, daughter of William Spencer and Nancy 
Wood Eldridge, to his farm. Three sons and 
four daughters were born to this union: Alva 
(died as a result of burns), Claudie, Mordecia, 
Creighton, Minnie, Myrtle, and Dayton. The 
youngest three are living. Dayton can relate 
some of the war stories. 

John Claudius, who died at 84 in 1917, is 
buried in the family cemetery beyond the 
house. In 1 936 Minnie Frances died at 65. 

In 1931 Dayton married the pretty brunette 
next door, Varina, daughter of Mang and 
Rena Wood. Three daughters, teachers in the 
North Carolina schools, are Agnes Lee Far- 
thing, Jo Ann Lee Howard and Barbara Ann 
Lee Bass. Since Varina's death in 1971, Day- 
ton has maintained the home. He rents the 
farm to a local farmer, since he is no longer 
able to farm it himself. 

The front of the family home built about 
1 9 1 9 by neighbors and local carpenters is the 
original. The house built by John Claudius 
burned along with all its contents when the 
widowed mother and children were working 
in the distant fields. 

Submitted by Doris Lee Jones 


November 5,1816 Patrick Dixon and John 
Dixon purchased 375 acres of land from 
Demsey Allen. This land is in Elevation and 
West Banner Townships of Johnston County 
about two and one half miles north of Benson. 
North Carolina Highway 50 runs through the 
tract as well as State Road 1 1 68 which divides 
the land, with Elevation Township on the 
north side and West Banner on the south. 

Benjamin Matthews, grandson of Patrick Dixon, 
and wife, Sarah Hobgood Matthews 

In the early 1800s the Dixons operated a 
gristmill. Pleasant Hill Church and Pleasant 
Hill School were established on the Dixon 
property, the first being constructed of logs. 
The log church later burned. August 18, 1874, 
Nancy Dixon gave the land where the present 
church stands. Vison Ivey, Daniel Byrd, and 
Benjamin Matthews were the trustees. 

In 1882 Patrick Dixon, Haywood Dixon 
and Lucinda Dixon leased to the public 
schools Johnston County two acres of land for 
the Pleasant Hill school after the log school 
was abandoned. This school ceased to operate 
in 1930. 

Abram Dixon, son of Patrick Dixon, leased 
to the Common School Elevation District the 
land for the Elevation school. 

November 14, 1 876 Patrick Dixon gave his 
grandson, Benja min Matthews, 110 acres 
south of State Road 1 168 on Highway 50, 
West Banner Township. This tract came 
down through Benjamin's son, Lester Orus 
Matthews to his son, the present owner, 
Yoakum Austin Matthews. 

Through the years this land has been used 
to grow grain and cotton and to raise cows and 
hogs. Submitted by Yoakum Austin Matthews 


The McLamb farm is located in southeast 
Johnston County approximately six miles 
from Benson on Highway 242. This 60 acre 
trust is part of a large farm originally owned 
by William McLamb. According to records, 
this 60 acre farm has been in the McLamb 
family for more than 140 years and has been 
passed through four generations. 

The Samuel McLamb house, built circa 1874. 

The 300 acre farm was given to Nathan 
McLamb by his father, William, in the early 
1 870s. A house was constructed on the site in 
1 874 and later additional rooms were added. 
Nathan, his wife and six sons lived on the 
farm. In the 1 900s the tract of land was divid- 
ed equally among five of the sons. One of the 
sons chose money for an education in lieu of 
land. The youngest son, Eldridge, was deeded 
this farm and home in 1 909 by his father. 

Much of the house built by Nathan 
McLamb in 1 874 is still used. The kitchen and 
dining rooms were constructed separately 
from the house and are not used. This house 
has retained many of the original features. 
One of the unique features is the 50 foot front 
porch with a four foot overhang. The over- 
hang provided shelter for storing wood. A well 
was located near the end of the porch. The 
original posts are still supporting the porch 
and banister. The house and porch are floored 
with one inch tongue and grooved boards. 
Ceilings in the house are made of twelve inch 
boards. In addition to large rooms with fire- 
places, the house contained sleeping rooms. 
These small rooms would accommodate a 
bed and dresser and were located adjacent to 
a large room. 



One of the original buildings, the crib, is 
still used. The crib is a log structure with a 
shelter. The McLamb Family cemetery is 
located at the back of the farm. 

In 1 964 Eldridge McLamb deeded the farm 
to his son, Samuel Baggett McLamb, the pres- 
ent owner. Although the family does not 
reside on the farm, efforts are made to pre- 
serve the original structure and land. 

Submitted by Samuel B. McLamb 


Troy Narron purchased about 1 20 acres of 
land in N. O'Neal Township, Johnston Coun- 
ty, near Antioch Baptist Church, March 20, 
1872, from Wiatt and Maria Earp. He 
remained a bachelor while clearing the land 
and married Rachel Parker from Johnston 
County in 1 899. They had five children; Goli- 
us, Tom, Bonnie, Troy and Sam. After his 
death in 1924, his wife and children farmed 
this land and other tracts he later bought. 

The home of Sam Narron built in 1940-41. 

Sam, the youngest and only surviving child, 
is 75 and present ownerof 82 acres of this land 
which he has farmed and managed since 

He married Susie Finney from Franklin 
County, Virginia, in 1 938, and they built their 
home and reared their family on this same 
farm. Their two children, Rebecca and Rich- 
ard, helped with the farm work and livestock 
produced on this farm through their school 
years and both are graduates of East Carolina 

Sam had a 31 year professional baseball 
career beginning in 1 934 in the St. Louis Car- 
dinal organization as a player, and as a coach 
with the Brooklyn Dodgers 1 949-50, and as a 
coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates 1951-64. 
He proudly states that he is the first Johnston 
County native on World Series Teams. Those 
teams and years are: St. Louis Cardinals — 
1942 and 1943; Brooklyn Dodgers — 1949; 
and the Pittsburgh Pirates — 1 960. All series 
were played against the New York Yankees. 
The 1 942 Cardinals and the 1 960 Pirates were 

Even though the baseball career was a 
dream come true, Sam never lost his love for 
the land and especially the farm. He was 
always eager to return to it and carry on the 
farm business shared by his wife and children. 
He hopes this and other land he and his family 
own will continue to be productive family 
farmland and the back-to-the-land spirit and 
love will continue to live in his family in this 
and future generations. 

His present family consists of one son, 
Samuel Richard Narron, and wife, Robin 
Cauthorne Narron, co-owner of Sportman's 

World Sporting Goods stores in Goldsboro, 
Kinston and Smithfield; grandson, Samuel 
Franklin Narron; granddaughter, Virginia 
Winston Narron; one daughter, Rebecca Sue 
Narron Murphy and husband, Lt. Col. John 
P. Murphy, U.S.A.F., retired; grandson, John 
Lowell Murphy and granddaughter, Susan 
Alice Murphy. 

Submitted by Sam and Susie Narron 


Dating back to 1856, this parcel of land has 
been in the family of R. Glenn (deceased) and 
Lela R. Ogburn. 

Four generations have lived in the Ogburn home. 

J.T. Leach sold two parcels of land to 
Barney P. King, great grandparent of R. 
Glenn Ogburn. The first parcel, consisting of 
250 acres was purchased February 21, 1856, 
and the second parcel of 80 acres was 
acquired on May I, 1876. 

According to the last will and testament of 
Barney P. King, dated May 1 2, 1 897, this land 
(300 acres) was left to his wife and two sons, B. 
Ascall King and L.P. King, of whom L.P. was 
the maternal grandparent of R. Glenn 

In another deed dated July 12, 1891, it 
showed Joseph P. Ogburn, paternal grandpar- 
ent of R. Glenn Ogburn, owning land adjoin- 
ing the King property. 

L.T. Ogburn, father, bought land from his 
brother-in-law, Charlie King, and wife, Mar- 
garet, January 25, 1904; from his father-in- 
law, L.P. King, November 25, 1922, and 
inherited land from his father, Joseph P. 

Throughout his lifetime, L.T. Ogburn 
farmed the land, growing corn, cotton, tobac- 
co, wheat, etc., ran a sawmill and cotton gin. 
He and his wife, Sarah King Ogburn, known 
as "Sannie," reared eight children to be 
grown. They divided their property in 1945. 

R. Glenn and Lela R. Ogburn became own- 
ers of 78 acres of this land in Pleasant Grove 
Township in western Johnston County which 
included the homeplace built around 1900. 
This land is farmed today, growing grain, 
tobacco and cows. A daughter and two grand- 
sons also have homes on this property. 

It should be noted that four generations 
have made the homeplace their home: Begin- 
ning with L.T. and Sarah (Sannie) Ogburn, 
then R. Glenn and Lela R. Ogburn, their 
daughter and son-in-law, Sarah O. and Ben 
Blalock; a grandson, Tony Blalock resides 
there now. 

While completing a major renovation 
recently, Tony learned that some of the house 
was constructed with pegs. A child's leather 
button shoe was found in one of the walls. A 

new chimney had to be constructed but stones 
from the original one were worked into the 
bricks of the new one. Original hardwood 
floors, a chandelier featuring glass arms and a 
myriad of cut glass prisms are in the dining 
room that once was the bedroom where his 
mother Sarah was born. 

Submitted by Lela R. Ogburn 


In 1832 Asa Bryan Peacock got the^land 
from Lewis, David and William Peacock. The 
land went from Asa Bryan Peacock to George 
Franklin Peacock and John Bryan Peacock in 
1868. In 1899 John Bryan Peacock divided 
and deeded his land to seven heirs that includ- 
ed David Lawrence Peacock. David Law- 
rence Peacock bought George Franklin Pea- 
cock's tracts. The Mandy Peacock Tart tract 
was purchased in 1923. In 1947 David Law- 
rence Peacock divided his land between two 
sons, one of whom was Lawrence B. Peacock, 
who is the present owner. This farm is located 
in Meadow Township near Benson. 

I 5 "J 

The home of Lawrence B. Peacock. 

Crops grown on the farm were corn, cotton, 
tobacco, sweet potatoes, soybeans, cane and 
always a garden. Livestock was also grown for 
market and home use. There was at one time 
a brick mill located on the farm. 

The Asa Bryan Peacock home was located 
on this property, but due to extensive deterio- 
ration was torn down. 

The house that is the Lawrence B. Peacock 
home was erected in 1925 with additions add- 
ed later. His wife is Addie Corene Wood Pea- 
cock. They reared three daughters here. They 
are Alice Joyce P. Lee, Zilphia Grey P. Adams 
and Judy Carol P. Warren. 

Submitted by Lawrence B. Peacock 


Newit Peedin married Polly Spencer on 
September 21,1 804. They were the parents of 
one daughter. Newit Peedin married his sec- 
ond wife, Sally Tiner on April 8, 1811. Newit 
Peedin was the father of seven children. They 
were Elizabeth, William James, Alpha, Alvin, 
John, Amos J., and Sarah Ann. 

Amos J. was Stephen's grandfather. Newit 
Peedin migrated from Virginia to Johnston 
County with his two brothers, James and Wil- 
liams. In 1803 Newit Peedin bought a parcel 
of land containing 1 50 acres from Henry Oli- 
ver for the sum of 30 pounds. William Peedin 
and Amos Peedin were witnesses for the deed. 
Between 1 803 and 1 846 Newit Peedin bought 
more than 1000 acres of land in Johnston 
County, all in Pine Level Township. 


Amos Peedin was the father of Barney 
Peedin. Barney Ingram Peedin was the father 
of Stephen Barney Peedin. Stephen Barney 
was born on November 15, 1884 and died 
April 5, 1968. 

He lived all his life on the same farm where 
he was born. He married Rhoda Jane Thomp- 
son, and they raised seven children. After his 
death his farm was divided equally among his 
seven children. I, Eula Mae Woodard, now 
own two shares and farm three shares. We 
grow corn, wheat and soybeans. It is good 
land and we grow good crops on it when the 
weather is suitable. We have had two mighty 
dry years lately. I wish my daddy could have 
lived longer and seen how my son tends the 
land now with his big tractors and combine. 
My daddy used to keep the ditch banks cut 
with a bush ax. Now my son has a side boy 
mower on the tractor and a cab so he can do it 
even when the weather is cold. We have just 
finished planting wheat on two shares of the 
Peedin farm. My daddy enjoyed working on 
the farm and seeing the crops grow. The farm 
is located in Pine Level Township, but the 
mailing address is Princeton, R-l, and we 
children all went to school at Princeton. 

The names of Stephen's seven children in 
the order they were born: Robert Amos 
Peedin (2/17/08-12/5/82); Kizzie Ophelia 
Peedin (10/12/09-11/11/64); Lizzie Jean 
Peedin (2/26/11-11/23/56); Lillie Exline 
Peedin (11/10/12); Merlin Albert Peedin ( 1 21 
9/16-1/23/86); Eula Mae Peedin Woodard 
(12/17/22); Stephen Maxwell Peedin (10/21/ 
28). Submitted by Eula Mae Woodard 


The earliest record of ownership of land by 
Pittmans in Johnston County is the land grant 
made to William Pittman. In fact, there were 
two grants, for two parcels of land: one for 1 00 
acres and one for 200 acres, and both dated 
December 12, 1778. 

Frederick Fiveash and wife, Millender, 
came to Johnston County from Ireland before 
1 797, because records show that Patsy 
Fiveash was born in Johnston County in 

Garry Pittman was born in 1789. He and 
Patsy Fiveash were married in Johnston 
County August 12, 1816. There were at least 
ten children born to that marriage. Some are: 
William, 1824; Jonas, 1829; Benjamin, 1831; 
John, 1832; Penny; Micajah Thomas, 1840; 
Nancy, 1844; and Pinetta, 1846. 

Garry Pittman transferred approximately 
100 acres of land to his son Micajah Thomas 
in September 1868. Micajah married Piety 
Ward in 1865. There were two children: 
Micajah Grooms, 1862-1931; and Victoria 
Mero, 1868-1886. 

Micajah Thomas married a second time, 
Pennie Ann Elizabeth Senie Frances Alford, 
March 17, 1881. There were three sons born 
in this marriage: Thomas Austin Pittman, 
(1884-1938); Charlie Ernest Pittman (1889- 
1979) and William Harvey Pittman (1892- 

Austin Pittman married Daisy Edgerton 
June 1 2, 1 907. In this marriage were born two 
daughters: Mary Elizabeth, born September 
19, 1911, who married Irvin Davis in 1948, 
and Clara Lee, born July 13, 1913, who mar- 
ried Clarence Kirby in 1 939. Clarence died in 


Mary Elizabeth and Clara still own their 
father's portion of the original grant that was 
made in 1778. 

Mary Elizabeth and Irvin Davis have a 
daughter, Nancy Elizabeth, who married 
Warren Moore. They live in Washington, 
N.C. They have a son, Clif Moore, and a 
daughter, Mary Elizabeth. 

Clara and Clarence Kirby have a son, Clar- 
ence Austin, who has a son, Clarence Austin, 
II, in a first marriage. Austin is married a sec- 
ond time to Carolyn Mozingo. They have a 
daughter, Kristen and a son Mark Pittman 
Kirby. Submitted by Mary E. Pittman Davis and 
Clara Pittman Kirby 


Since the early 1800s six generations of 
Ballances and Pittmans have been landown- 
ers and farmers in Johnston County. For nat- 
ural love and affection, John Slaughter deed- 
ed to his daughter, Peggy S. Ballance, a certain 
tract of land in Beulah Township east of Little 
River on 301 Highway south of Kenly. 

Lawrence and Fannie Pittman and their children, 
Henry Albert Pittman, Leo Pittman and Ruth Pitt- 
man Scott in 1948. 

William and Peggy Ballance deeded to 
Teagle Ballance 468 acres. Teagle and his son, 
Ruffin, purchased and traded or inherited 
various tracts of land in the same general area. 

Henry B. Ballance, son of Ruffin, died 
when Fannie (his daughter), was only seven 
years old. His wife, Mattie, and family carried 
on the family tradition of farming. 

On the Ballance farm there was a spring of 
water down in the woods which they were sure 
was a supply of drinking water for the Indians. 
The railroad was built close to the spring. 
Henry Pittman, Fannie's son, can remember 
in the 1940s that the section-hand workers 
from the railroad would stop and drink water 
from this spring. Believe it or not, in 1 987, the 
Town of Kenly condemned an area beside the 
railroad to put in sewage pipes, which went 
directly over the spring. 

Fannie married Lawrence Pittman. The 
Pittmans were also a family of farm owners. 
Gary Pittman had received land from Jethro 
Pittman and bought some land and deeded it 
to Benjamin in 1856, deeded to Albert J. Pitt- 
man in 1 895, deeded to Lawrence Pittman in 
1933, and his share to me, Henry Albert Pitt- 
man in 1957. 

This was a tobacco, grain and cotton farm, 
and most important, the families raised what 
they had to eat. The staples that had to be 
bought were mostly salt, sugar and coffee, 
which were traded most of the time for eggs, 

butter, cured meat or potatoes that were pro- 
duced on the farm. 

History passed down from the Pittman gen- 
erations was that Lawrence Pittman's grand- 
father died from pneumonia during the Civil 
War. When Henry Albert Pittman's great- 
great-great-grandmother was a small girl, she 
played under a pear tree while her family 
worked the cotton fields. This is the only tree 
on this land today and is still producing a 
small sugar pear. This tree is known to be over 
1 50 years old. 

Lawrence and Fannie B. Pittman were ded- 
icated to hard work, and love for the land, like 
generations before them and that is the reason 
it is considered a century farm today. 

Named after both grandparents, Henry 
Albert Pittman is the youngest son of Law- 
rence and Fannie B. Pittman. He married 
Frances Mercer of Wilson County, February 
14, 1959. They have three children, Bobby, 
Deborah and Doug. 

Submitted by Henry Pittman 


Farm L 5 (2663) in Johnston County con- 
sisting of approximately 500 acres is the only 
portion of John Richardson's (1711-1802) 
3938 acres which is still owned by a direct 
descendant of John Richardson. It is now 
owned by Jean McLean and farmed with the 
help of Ronnie Strickland, one of Johnston 
County's outstanding young farmers. 

John's son, Joseph Richaidson, M.D., 
( 1 7 74- 1 840) had a son named Lunceford who 
was born on this farm and who inherited the 
homestead portion. This man was Lunsford I. 
He married Laurinda Vinson December 20, 
1 836. At the time of his wedding he was oper- 
ating a farm, sawmill, gristmill and cotton gin. 
He was drowned trying to save a customer's 
meal during a flood in 1856. The present 
Atkinson Mill is built on the site and part of 
the foundation of this mill. 

Of this union there were six children; two of | 
whom are of interest to this story. Lunsford II, 
developer of the formula for Vicks Croup and 
Pneumonia Salve and founder of the Vick 
Chemical Company, and his sister, Martha 
Ann Rutha who married Thomas H. Atkin- 
son of Boone Hill on October 12, 1859. The 
Atkinson plantation home was destroyed by 
the federal soldiers following the Battle of 
Bentonville. Since Mr. Atkinson had invested 
heavily in the confederacy, the end of the Civ- 1 
il War found him in bad financial shape. The 
Atkinson farm soon passed into other hands. 
Mr. Atkinson then moved his family to Par- 
ker Heights, the home of his wife's widowed 
mother, Laurinda Vinson Richardson. There 
he built a companion house to the Richardson 
house for his family. 

Thomas Atkinson and Martha Ann Rutha 
brought up a family of two daughters and five 
sons on this farm during the period of poverty 
which existed throughout the south between 
1860 and 1900. In 1881 a fire completely 1 
destroyed these two homes. At this point Mr., 
Atkinson a broken and defeated man moved 
his family to Selma so the younger children 
could continue their education and he 
"batched it" in a tenant house on the farm and 
ran the mill, seeing his family when he could. 
Later, Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson moved tc 
Washington D.C. to be near their children 
who were living there; Dr. Wade H. Atkinson.! 



Thos H. Atkinson, druggist Albert S.J. Atkin- 
son, architect and Mrs. Minna Cannon. 

Through several transfers of title between 
members of the family in 1930 the farm was 
awned by Dr. Wade H. Atkinson. About this 
time he retired from active practice and spent 
much of his time in Johnston County. He had 
a great love for his native state, county and 
O'Neals Township. This he demonstrated by 
performing many operations without charge, 
jiving awards to school children for various 
achievements, donating land for a Boy Scout 
Camp and other local civic affairs. At his 
death in 1942, the farm passed to his wife, 
Mary E. Atkinson. Today there is a Wade H. 
Atkinson Memorial Library and Community 
building, a scholarship fund at UNC-CH for 
children in O'Neals Township, and other 
traces of his influence are in the area. 

A portion of the farm was deeded to the 
Carolina Pines Girl Scout Council and is now 
Camp Mary Atkinson Girl Scout Camp locat- 
sd on Highway 42. Submitted by Jean McLean 


This farm was owned by Apple White 
Richardson prior to and during the Civil War. 
Apple White was born October 17, 1801, and 
died April 28, 1875. He is buried in the family 
cemetery on the farm. He married three times 
and raised 25 children. His third wife, Martha 
Stone Richardson, was my grandmother. She 
was born January 21, 1827 and died August 
25, 1 90 1 . According to family history, Apple 
White owned everything between the Little 
River and Buffaloe Creek. When the Yankees 
came through, his Masonic ring saved his life, 
the farm and the house. A part of the farm was 
given to Charlie H. Richardson, a son of 
Apple White, who was my father. Upon his 
death, the farm was divided into eight farms 
for each of his children, approximately 25 
acres each. The homeplace was left to me. The 
two-story part of the house and one standing 
storage building were built by Apple White 
Iprior to the Civil War. 

The Richardson home. The two story section was 
built before the Civil war. 

At the present time the crops grown on the 
farm are vegetables, grapes, pecans, soybeans 
and Christmas trees. Four generations of the 
Richardson family are now living on the part 
of the original farm my father owned. 

Submitted by John R. Richardson 


i The Joseph Rose, Sr. farm location is East 
, Meadow Township. This farm has been in the 
Rose family for over 100 years. During the 

Civil War there was a water mill on this farm. 
The present owner is Joseph B. Rose, Sr. of 
Kinston. Joe has made many improvements 
over the years such as ponds, grapevines and 
a duck field. 

The farm is a great weekend retreat in the 
fall and spring. Walking in the woods any day 
is the best medicine for stress and getting 
close to nature. Submitted by Joseph B. Rose, Sr. 


There is a deed recorded in the Johnston 
County courthouse showing the division of 
the lands of William H. Watson and Henry 
Bulls Watson, brothers, inherited as tenants 
in common from their uncle. Dr. Josiah O. 
Watson, who died in 1 852. This land was sur- 
veyed and divided between them in 1853. 
William H. received 691 acres valued at 
$2,764. Henry Bulls' tract was 827 acres val- 
ued at the same amount. 

The second snow of 1979 on the Sanders farm in 
Johnston County. 

At this time Henry Bulls Watson was a cap- 
tain in the U.S. Marines and lived in Ports- 
mouth, Virginia. Upon inheriting the proper- 
ty, Captain Watson made arrangements to 
have an old house located on the edge of the 
low grounds moved and rebuilt at a site on the 
public road three miles southeast of Smith- 
field, known as the River Road to Goldsboro. 

In 1854, having retired, Captain Watson 
brought his wife and three children to North 
Carolina to begin a life of plantation owner. 
Agnes Aylwin Watson was born August 23, 

All went well until the outbreak of the Civil 
War. Captain Watson, having served under 
the flag of the United States and fought 
through the war with Mexico, was opposed to 
fighting against the U.S. flag, never the less he 
offered his services and was stationed at 
Southport in the confederate navy. Being in 
poor health he resigned his commission and 
later was appointed colonel in command of 
entrenchments at Weldon. His only son, Hen- 
ry L. Watson, joined the 1st Company to be 
organized in Smithfield. He was taken prison- 
er at Gettysburg and held at Ft. Delaware, 
New Jersey until the end of the war. 

In March 1 865 part of Sherman's Army, in 
the march from Goldsboro to Smithfield, a 
detachment of Yankee troops camped in the 
field across from the house. The officers who 
included General Howard and General 
Couch were served dinner on the porch of the 
house and they gave orders that the house was 
not to be burned. All the livestock, chickens 
and food was taken by the Yankees and the 
outbuildings burned. 

Mrs. Watson died August 17, 1864, at the 
age of 49 and Henry Bulls Watson died Janu- 
ary 25, 1869, age 56. The plantation was left 
to his four children and divided into eight 
lots, four farmland and four low grounds. 
Agnes drew lots one with the house and lot 
eight on the Neuse River. She married Hez- 
ikiah Peterson and had cwo children, Henry 
W. and Mary Bynum. Henry left home at an 
early age and went to Greensboro. Mary mar- 
ried D. Hooper Sanders in 1911. Agnes Wat- 
son Peterson left her property to Henry and 
Mary. Later Mary and Hooper bought Hen- 
ry's share. In subsequent years they also came 
into possession of the rest of the Watson prop- 

Mary and Hooper Sanders had seven chil- 
dren, one dying in infancy. Hooper died in 
1945 and Mary in 1966 leaving the farm 
divided among their six children, four of 
whom are living and between them own and 
live on the original tract of land. Farming 
operations continue to the present time. 

Elizabeth B. Sanders has the homeplace 
and lives in the original house sharing the low 
grounds tract on the river with Martha. Eliza- 
beth also has Alice's inheritance. 

Susan, wife of R. Glen Barbour, owns road 
front property and a low grounds tract and 
they live on the farm. 

Martha, widow of Walter Burns, owns road 
front and low grounds and has her home 
across the farm pond. All three, Elizabeth B. 
Sanders, Susan S. Barbour and Martha S. 
Burns have been listed among the century 
farm families since 1975. 

Submitted by Elizabeth B. Sanders 


It is a privilege to be recognized as a farm 
family whose continuous ownership dates 
back for more than 100 years. The loyal dedi- 
cation and numerous years of hard work by 
our forefathers and mothers made this possi- 

Maytle J. Stephenson. 

The old family cemetery located on the 
farm reflects the rich heritage of the past and 
brings to life an inspiration and challenge to 



keep the Stephenson farm in the hands of our 
children and future generations. Slaves and 
master were laid to rest in this cemetery. 

The tomb of "Grand Pap," George Ste- 
phenson, who owned the Stephenson planta- 
tion until the late 1 860s, speaks out to us with 
the inscription "age unknown." (The Ste- 
phenson family has determined that George 
Stephenson was born in 1814 and died in 

The historic tomb of Manly Stephenson 
bears the inscription, "Civil War, Company 
D, 50th Regiment, North Carolina Troops." 
Manly, son of George, owned the lands from 
1869 until 1902. 

George William Stephenson, son of Manly, 
owned the land from 1902 until 1932. Wil- 
liam Paul Stephenson, Sr., son of George Wil- 
liam, married Maytle Johnson in 1923 and 
they gained possession of the land in 1 932. 

Times have changed. William Paul Ste- 
phenson, Sr. is now deceased, but Maytle J. 
Stephenson continues to live on the produc- 
tive farm that has been in the possession of the 
Stephenson family for well over 150 years. 
Maytle Stephenson has four children who will 
inherit the farm and will strive to protect its 
heritage. Submitted by Maytle J. Stephenson 


Documented by recent historical surveys 
as the most complete pre-Civil War farm in 
Johnston County and believed to be the coun- 
ty's third oldest home, Tanglewood Farm has 
always been known as a place of warmth, cor- 
diality, and genuine love of people. 

Tanglewood farm in Clayton, N.C. 

The original plantation of 1,000 acres was 
purchased by Bernice Harris Tomlinson in 
1834, and has remained in the Tomlinson 
name ever since. The spacious house contain- 
ing 13 rooms, two large hallways and two 
stairways was built in 1 834- 1 835 by Bernice, 
better known as "Buck," for his new bride, the 
former Elizebeth Walton. 

The couple received 12 slaves as one of 
their wedding presents. Under the supervi- 
sion of a carpenter contracted by Buck, these 
slaves provided the construction labor. It 
took one year to complete the home. A young 
bachelor was paid $ 1 00 plus room and board 
for his year's work. 

The house is constructed entirely of native 
long-leaf pine, hand-hewn and put together 
with wooden pegs. Handmade bricks from 
the chimneys for the eight original fireplaces. 

Originally, the kitchen was located about 
100 feet from the main house where the food 
was prepared by slaves and brought to the 

main house to be served after emancipation. 
This kitchen was eliminated and a new kitch- 
en, dining room and pantry still separate from 
the main house, were added on the east side. 
The new addition, now connected by a 
breezeway to the main house, is still being 
used today. 

Bernice Tomlinson, a county surveyor, as 
well as farmer, and wife, Elizebeth reared six 
children, the oldest of whom was John Harris 
Tomlinson. John Harris and wife, Susan 
Wall, became the next owners of Tanglewood. 
Also a surveyor and farmer, John Harris 
served as a second lieutenant in the Confeder- 
ate Army (Company C 53rd regiment). After 
the war he returned to Tanglewood and dedi- 
cated himself to the task of rebuilding the 
grand plantation. John and his wife raised 
seven children, of which William David 
Tomlinson, better known as Will, was the 
youngest and became the third owner. 

Will Tomlinson was a farmer, surveyor, 
and inventor. He built and operated a cotton 
gin, steam powered sawmill and in 1910 built 
what is now the only remaining mule barn in 
the county with 1 5 stalls, two corn cribs, har- 
ness room and spacious overhead hayloft. 
Will was famous for his fine rubber tired bug- 
gy drawn by his horse Frisky, who could 
always find the way home without being guid- 
ed by the reins. 

Will Tomlinson married Alta Perkins in 
1915 and had three children. Upon his 
untimely death in 1 934 Alta and the children 
moved to Washington, D.C. and Will's sister, 
Emma Augusta Tomlinson, became the 
fourth Tomlinson to rule Tanglewood. 
Emma, who never married, was a school 
teacher and maintained the farm until 1970, 
when she deeded it to her brother Will's oldest 
son, Charles Edgar Tomlinson and his wife, 
Alice. Charles, an engineer, farmer and lover 
of fine horses along with his wife Alice set 
about the task of restoring Tanglewood farm 
to reflect the glory and tradition started in 
1835. Submitted by Charles and A lice Tomlinson 


John Vinson came to Johnston County in 
1762 from Virginia and settled along the 
south side of the Neuse River on 1040 acres. 
Some 600 acres of this original tract still 
belong to his descendants. Drury Vinson, son 
of John, lived in Johnston County all his life, 
and Drury's son, Archibald, was born in 1 776. 
He later married Ruth Smith, and their son, 

This photo was taken in 1956, pictured, L to R: Aunt 
Bettie Vinson, Ola Parker (my grandmother), Mary 
Parker Oliver (my mother), and Beebe Oliver Parker. 
Four generations. 

James, and wife, Elizabeth Bridgers, owned 
the land. 

Next in line of ownership came young 
Drury Vinson and wife, Elizabeth Lassiter, 
who had six children. Aunt Bettie Vinson was 
one of these children and the first ancestor I 
remember visiting on the "Vinson Farm." 
Aunt Bettie, my great-great-aunt was born in 
1 866 and lived in Johnston County all her life, 
94 years. She remembered growing up on her 
family 600 acre farm between Wilson's Mills 
and Selma on the Neuse River. She delighted 
in telling us about the way it used to be when 
they had five free slaves and three half- 
Indians working for the family who grew 
corn, oats, peas, cotton — no tobacco in those 
early years but everything else needed to eat, 
including their meats. 

Aunt Bettie and a brother acquired this 
family farm at the death of their mother Eliza- 
beth. My great-great-grandmother Mary Ann 
was not named to receive any of the land in 
her mother's will, but when aunt Bettie died 
in 1 960, she willed the land in parts to all liv- 
ing heirs of her sister Mary, one of whom was 
my mother, Mary Parker Oliver. The land 
aunt Bettie acquired at the death of her broth- 
er J.M. Vinson, she willed to her niece Ida 
Parker Brown, a daughter of Ann, and to her 
great niece Mary Parker Oliver, my mother, 
in equal parts. In 1 964 the land passed to me, 
Beebe Oliver Parker, for life. Some 1 30 acres 
of this original tract belongs to my cousin 
Richard Hinnant. 

Today's farm still has beautiful woodlands. 
Corn and beans were grown there last year 
and tobacco until 1985. The Southern Rail- 
road runs through the property, the Neuse 
River borders the north side, and 70-A High- 
way is on the south side. The family cemetery, 
as well as a house built for aunt Bettie, 
remains there as a reminder of the past. 

Submitted by Beebe O. Parker 


On November 1 , 1 845 Jesse James Weaver 
bought and owned 400 acres of land in John- 
ston County, five miles east of Benson, North 
Carolina in Meadow Township. 

He married Emmunize Watkins. They had 
five girls and two boys. The girls were Eliza- 
beth, Harriett Jane, Deal Ann and Mary Ban. 
He lived to be a very old man. His first wife, 
Emmunize, died and he married her sister, 
Harriett Watkins. When Harriett died, he 
married Mary Marenda Lawhon. 

The oldest girl, Elizabeth Weaver, married 
Joe Allen Parker. They had a son named Wil- 
liam Preston Parker. He inherited the last 14 
acres of land January 23, 1 900 from his grand- 
father, Weaver, for taking care of him until 
his death. He was 100 years old when he 
passed away on May 8, 1911, and he is buried 
on the same tract of land. 

William Preston Parker married Annie 
Franklin Lawhon. They had a daughter, 
Dorothy Catherine Parker. She married 
Arthur B. Williams and they had a son, Leslie 
Warren Williams. He married Matilda 
McGee and had four girls and one boy. They 
were Jacqueline W. Lee, Patricia W. Monta- 
gue, Mitchell Warren Williams, Sherry W. J 
Lee and Sharlene W. Avery. 

The oldest daughter, Jacqueline W. Lee, 
and her husband, William Homer Lee, Sr., 
now own the 14 acres which they bought on! 



May 15, 1978. The land is now in the sixth 
generation. They farm the land and have 
cleared several acres for pasture where they 
plan to raise horses. They have two children, 
William Homer Lee, Jr. and Angela Lorraine 

Their future plans are for the land to be 
handed down to the seventh generation. The 
land has been in the family since November 1 , 

Submitted by William H. and Jacqueline W. Lee 


On October 11,1830 Needham H. Whitley 
of Wilders Township, Johnston County, 
North Carolina, finished paying for his land 
and received his deed from Allen Richardson. 
His home was built and finished at the time he 
received his deed. He named his home 
(ca.1830) "The Needham Whitley Place." 

The back of the old kitchen on the Needham Whitley 
Farm. Built before the Revolutionary War, it has 
notched and hand fitted beams, and was put together 
with wooden pegs. 

Needham and Zilphia Williamson Whitley 
lived and reared their ten children here. Most 
of the children are buried here as well. 

On the farm were grown herds of sheep, a 
forest with its harvest of lumber and turpen- 
tine, flax, indigo, corn, wheat, rye, oats, mil- 
let, orchards, vineyards, plus damsons, figs, 
plums and berries. Also grown were cotton, 
tobacco, watermelons, cantaloupes, pea 
vines, hay and lespedeza garden. There was 
always one to four acres of each vegetable 
crop. Sweet potatoes, rutabagas, field peas, 
butter beans, snaps, Irish potatoes, winter 
squash and citron were all grown. They also 
raised horses, goats, rabbits, geese, chickens, 
hogs and guineas. They made their cheeses, 
sausages, rendered their lard, salt cured their 
pork, dried fruit and vegetables, corned beef, 
brined their snaps and cucumbers and spun 
their own linen thread, wool thread and cot- 
ton thread. They made their own clothes from 
cloth of woven cotton and linen which they 
dyed and wore on the farm. 

Needham H. Whitley left his place to his 
wife, Zilphia Williamson Whitley. She left it 
to her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Whitley. 
While living, Sarah Elizabeth gave the prop- 
erty to her nephew, Adolphus D. Atkinson. 
Adolphus, while living, deeded the property 
to his daughter Claudia Atkinson. He also 
gave three other daughters a farm from this 
homeland. Lois Mae Atkinson Andrews is 
one of the daughters of Aldolphus Atkinson 
and his wife, Mary Jane (Mollie) Barham 

Submitted by Lois May Atkinson Andrews 



On November 25, 1861 in Wilders Town- 
ship, Johnston County, North Carolina, Zil- 
phia Williamson Whitley, a widow, bought 
633 acres of land from William Hinnant. This 
was added to "The Needham Whitley Place." 

Adolphus D. Atkinson and "Mollie" Mary Jane 
Barham Atkinson, May 1, 1904. 

This land was rented to tenants. It grew for- 
estry and its by-products, cotton, corn, tobac- 
co, wheat, hay, orchards, grapes and vegeta- 
bles. Cows, chickens, other livestock, and 
fowl are grown here also. 

Zilphia Williamson Whitley left this land to 
her youngest child, Catharine (Katie) Whitley 
Atkinson. Katie gave the land to her son, 
Adolphus D. Atkinson, who in turn deeded 
the land to his daughter, Lorna Atkinson Bai- 
ley Batten. In 1987 Lorna gave this land to her 
children Ramona Bailey Phillips and Wilbur 
Marion Bailey. 

Needham Whitley left the land to his wid- 
ow, Zilphia Williamson Whitley, who left her 
daughter a share of the Needham Whitley 
Place. The farm then went to Sarah Elizabeth 
Whitley who gave her nephew, Adolphus D. 
Atkinson, her land. Adolphus D. Atkinson 
divided his share of this land into four farms. 
Submitted by Lois May Atkinson Andrews, daugh- 
ter of Adolphus D. Atkinson and wife, Mary Jane 
Barham Atkinson, (Mollie) 


On December 8, 1888 Camel R. Williams 
and Mathursday Godwin Williams bought 
this farm and raised eight children. The farm 
is located in Johnston County seven miles 
east of Benson, North Carolina off Highway 
96 south in Meadow Township. 

His youngest son, Arthur B. Williams, con- 
tinued to carry on the farming, later married 
Dorothy Parker and they had one child, a son, 
Leslie Warren Williams. Leslie married 
Matilda McGee, and they had five children: 
Jacqueline W. Lee, Patricia W. Montague, 
Mitchell Warren Williams, Sherry W. Lee, 
and Sharlene W. Avery, who now own the 
farm. This is the fourth generation. We con- 
tinue to carry out the farming, but all have 
other interests as well. 

We had a disaster happen to our 100 year 
old farm. 1-40 from Raleigh to Wilmington 
came through it. We cannot stand in the way 
of progress, so maybe the next generation will 
profit from all of our disappointments. 

We are very proud to know our ancestors 
wanted the land to remain in the family. 

Submitted by Jacqueline W. Lee 


Much of this information comes from the 
sharp memory of 96 year old Carrena Boykin 
Williams, granddaughter of William and 
Temperance Rains (founder of the Rains' 
Free Will Baptist Church located between 
Princeton and Kenly). 

The William Boykin family 1905. Carrena Boykin 
Williams seen at extreme left. 

William and Temperance's daughter, Cath- 
erine Rains, was born May, 1857, and died 
March, 1924. Catherine's husband was Wil- 
liam Boykin and they had five daughters: Ella, 
Carrena, Eva, Sadie, Annie, and one son, Wil- 
lie. Three of these daughters are still living 
and all are in their 90s in age. 

Some of Carrena's memories: 

"My grandpa's father was John Rains and 
he lived during the Revolutionary War. On 
his homestead plantation he grew corn and 
had many fruit orchards. Many arrowheads 
have been found in our fields and it was said 
that Indians camped in this area. Folklore 
tells of an area called "Peach Rock" which 
was an Indian burial ground. It was a huge 
rock stuck up from the ground and a fascinat- 
ing place for all neighbor kids to play." 

Carrena mentions that she remembers a 
tale that her great-grandfather, John Rains, 
had a long white beard and when he died he 
was buried with that beard parted in the mid- 
dle and tied with two blue ribbons. 

Grandpa, William Rains' original home- 
place, has been torn down but it consisted of 
a "great house" with porches on the front and 
side. A separate kitchen house, smokehouse, 
and a one-seater outhouse. (Later when the 
new house was built a modern "three-seater" 
outhouse was added.) There was plenty of 
timber on the farm so some went toward 
building a railroad across Little River to haul 
the timber to other areas of the county. Great 
grandpa, John, gave Granny 40 slaves instead 
of land. (Carrena remembers seeing the small 
slave houses up and down the path from the 

"During the Civil War when Sherman's 
Army came through Johnston County, they 
took everything alive or edible. Grandpa used 
dump carts to put half of the smoked meat on 
wooden planks in the water well and covered 
it with straw so the Yankees couldn't find it. 
Grandpa also had plenty of grapevines and he 
had a contract to make wine for the govern- 
ment. Those Yankees got his wine too! When 
he heard that the yanks were coming back 
again to get the rest of his property, grandpa 
sat on the porch day and night with all his 
guns around him and with one rifle across his 
lap ready to shoot any Yankees who came 


Johnston — Jones — Lee 

back. Several companies camped in and 
around the homeplace for days, but they 
didn't bother grandpa again." 

In 1 877 Grandpa Rains gave an acre of his 
land to build a church and V2 acre for the cem- 
etery. Thus, the Rains' Cross Road Free Will 
Baptist Church was established. 

C arrena and husband, Rev. Walter R. Wil- 
liams, had eight children: Daniel, Walter R., 
Billie, Juanita, LaVee, and Boyce. Two chil- 
dren died as infants. Walter R. Jr.'s wife and 
four children, Mike, Sam, Robbie, and Tere- 
sa, are still living on part of the original home- 
stead and have farmed full-time until 1987. 
Crops grown through the years were corn, cot- 
ton, soybeans, fruit trees and later tobacco. 
Livestock consisted of chickens and turkeys, 
mules, hogs and always several milk cows. 
Submitted by Joanne ( '. H illiams, wife of W 'alter 

K Williams Jr. 


In the iale 1700s and early 1 800s John Mar- 
shall Wilson, along with his sons Charles Mar- 
shall and William Gilliam, bought several 
thousand acres of land for the timber. One 
parcel consisting of 809 acres was divided. 
Charles Marshall became owner of the farm 
known as The Cypress, which contained 1 52 
acres. In the late 1 930s Walton Clair, his son, 
became owner; upon Clair's death in 1946, 
his son Charles Walton Wilson became the 

The region came to be known as Cypress 
Field because of the cypress trees growing in 
and around the locale; the theory being that a 
lake created mi 11 ions of years ago by a meteor- 
ite existed where the field is now. Over the 
years, most of the water disappeared, and 
cypress trees grew in this wet land. The soil, 
with its high level of acid, itches and irritates 
the skin. 

At one time tenants cultivated the land with 
mules, but because the land is so acid and wet, 
they were forced to stop. In 1 948 Charles Wal- 
ton, the owner, dug large ditches, installed tile 
and constructed several watering holes to 
drain the soil. 

Although the high acidity of the soil still 
irritates the skin, wheat, corn, soybeans and 
vegetables are grown on this land. Vegetables 
and tobacco are grown on the upland. In 
1967, Charles Walton started a small road- 
side stand. For ten years sales increased and 
in 1 977 Charles W. and son Charles Thomas 
erected a building where vegetables were sold, 
and later flowers and crafts. There are eight 
greenhouses for early tomatoes and bedding 
plants in the spring. 

In 1953, Charles Walton built the family 
home. Until that time only a tenant house was 
on this property. Since his father's death, 
Charles Thomas continues to farm. My three 
daughters, Pattic Caddell, Trudy Carter, 
Rose Thompson, and granddaughter Dawn 
Hodge have homes on the farm. Today it is 
known as the Wilson Farm. 
Submitted by VernaJ. and Charles Walton Wilson 

Jones County 


This property along the Trent River in 
Jones County has been in the Foscue family 
since the 1 8th century, one tract going back to 

The farm of Verna and Charles Walton Wilson. 



Foscue plantation house, built in 1804, in Jones 

a 1 707 patent granted to Edward Frank, 
grandfather of Nancy Mitchell (second wife 
of Simon Foscue) who inherited it. Simon 
"acquired a large amount of property and 
during his life gave to each of the twelve chil- 
dren (by three marriages) a portion, in land 
and Negroes," quoting a family memoir. 

Simon, Jr. added to his portion and was an 
"industrious, frugal honorable man of 
wealth." Around 1804 he built a 13 room 
house, "solid and firm, of brick molded near 
the house, lumber sawn upon the grounds and 
lime burnt upon the plantation." This house 
is now on the National Register of Historical 

John Edward, the next owner, died in 1 849 
at the age of 40, leaving the plantation (reput- 
ed to be about 1 0,000 acres) to his widow, who 
managed it through the difficult Civil War 
years. At one time during the war, she fled to 
Goldsboro and then to Thomasville for safe- 
ty. The house was spared since it was used as 
a hospital; but soldiers, searching for hidden 
valuables tore down the family burial vault, 
the area is still called the Vault Field. There 
are vivid family letters describing the tribula- 
tions of farming during those years. 

After the war, the property was divided 
between the two surviving children, Caroline 
and Henry Clay. During Henry Clay's life- 
time not a hill of tobacco was ever planted, 
because he thought it was bad for the soil. He 
practiced crop rotation (mainly cotton and 
corn), leaving all fields idle in alternate years. 
He and his wife were the last generation to live 
in the tall brick house, since their only child, 
Dr. John Edward practiced medicine in 
Jamestown and died (1920) only two years 
after his parents' death. 

Their house, built in 1953, is surrounded by trees. 

His sons, Henry A. Foscue and James E. 
Foscue inherited the property. It now totals 
1 356 acres and the farming operation is under 
lease, with tobacco, corn and soybeans as the 
main crops. The hope and expectation is that 
this farm will remain in the family for another 
century as well. 

Submitted by Mrs. Henry A. Foscue 

Lee County 


Daniel Hall moved from Cumberland 
County to Lee County which at the time was 
Moore County in the early 1 860s. He bought 
a large tract of land. 

Daniel Hall married Mary Carter in 1840. 
They had three sons and four daughters. He 
was a farmer. 

John L. Hall, son of Daniel, bought 28 acres 
of land from his father in 1 879 and paid $54 
for the land. John L. Hall married Harriett 
Nannery. They had two sons and two daugh- 
ters. John L. Hall was a farmer. His children 
were Martin V., John Berryman, Martha Ann 
and Rose Lee. He died when John Berryman 
was 1 7, and Martin died four years later. John 
Berryman did the farming and worked in a 
small store in the community. 

John Berryman married Lucy High in 1 929 
at the age of 48. Lucy was 32. Their children 
were Ruby, Harriett, Nancy, Bobby and 
JohnAnna; four girls and one boy. John Ber- 
ryman farmed, was a salesman for Royster 
Fertilizer, helped organize the Farmer's Edu- 
cational and Cooperative Union of America, 
and was Treasurer of the Lemm Springs 
Methodist Church for 25 years. His son, Bob 
B. Hall, is an artist who designed the seal for 
the city of Sanford in 1961, the logo for the 
Raleigh Civic Center and an award plaque for 
the city of Raleigh. 

JohnAnna Hall, daughter of John Berry- 
man, married Theron J. Eades in 1952. 
Theron (Jack) took over the farming in 1953 
and has farmed the land and other farms. Jack 
Eades and JohnAnna bought the farm from 
sisters and brother in 1971 after both parent's 
deaths. Jack and JohnAnna have five chil- 
dren: Jackie, Hearn, John David, Ann Doug- 
las, Sarah Douglas and Debbie Eades. There 
are six grandchildren. 

Submitted bv JohnAnna Eades 



Jack and John Anna Eades with their children, in-laws and grandchildren. 

The Irene Brooks Poole portion is owned 
by daughter, Veanna Poole Goodwin. 
THE HUNT FARM Submitted by Marguerite S. Campbell 

Carney Cotton Hunt was a successful 
planter in what is now Lee County. At his 
death in 1889, his land was inherited by his 
four daughters. 

The oldest daughter, Susanna Hunt, mar- 
ried William Isaac Brooks in 1 884. 

About 1888 they built their home, Pine 
Knot Farm, on the 350 acre farm. They had 
five children (four girls and one boy). 

W.I. Brooks became a leader in the commu- 
nity. He built a little schoolhouse so popular 
in those days. He hired the teacher and invit- 
ed the neighborhood children to attend until 
public schools were established. It was due to 
his efforts that the first rural telephone system 
was established and the first free mail deliv- 
ery route in his community. He continued 
farming until his retirement. 

The homeplace of W.I. and Susanna Hunt 
Brooks is owned by David Overton, son of 
Susie Brooks Overton. 

The W.H. Brooks portion is farmed by his 
grandson, Tommy Brooks. 

The Martha Brooks Swaringen portion is 
jointly owned by her children, Steve Swarin- 
gen, Gladys Whitley and Marguerite Camp- 


The Lett family is said by researchers to 
have been in the area as early as the mid- 

The Raymond Lett farm. 

William Lett entered and claimed October 
1 4, 1 779 and issued November 9, 1 784 (250 
acres) land grant no. 213 entered November 
1 7, 1 778 and issued July 1 779. This land was 

Pine Knot farm, home of W.I. and Susanna Hunt Brooks — L to R standing: W.I. Brooks, Susanna Hunt 
Brooks, Judah Frances Hunt Cox, Fannie Brooks Lyde and W.H. Brooks. Seated L to R: Susie Brooks Over- 
ton, Irene Brooks Poole and Martha Brooks Swaringen. 

listed in Orange County, later Chatham and 
now Lee County near Lick Creek. 

The Raymond Lett farm is a direct line 
from Andrew J. Lett. The farm referred to is 
a short distance below Buckhorn Dam on the 
Cape Fear River at the present corner of Lee 
County. State Road 1538 (now Buckhorn 
Road) crosses the property. 

The river played a very important part in 
the lives of the early settlers. It was their high- 
way into and out of the region. The rich soil 
along its banks was prime farmland before 
commercial fertilizer. 

Andrew bought and annexed land includ- 
ing rocks and islands partly covered by water, 
until he became quite prosperous, owning 
nearly 2,000 acres. His first interest was graz- 
ing cattle, sheep and other livestock. There 
was no stock law and the cattle had free range 
and fed off the growth of the land until fields 
could be cleared. In the summer sheep and 
goats were put on islands in the river to graze. 

John Wesley was born on this property in 
1852, the son of Andrew and Martha 
Womack Lett. Ten children were born to him 
and his wife, and reared on this property. 
Andrew died in 1894 and John Wesley 
farmed the property until his death in 1924. 

Raymond Lett, his son, inherited a share 
and this 1 50 acres is the century farm. Corn 
and cotton were the main crops until the 
depression and the boll weevil had all but 
destroyed the cotton crop. Only corn and 
grain were planted in the low grounds as the 
river would occasionally flood and destroy 
the entire crop. 

The clay and heavy gray soil of higher 
ground was said not to be suitable for growing 
tobacco, but in 1 932 Raymond and his broth- 
er, Edd Lett, who lived on adjoining land 
(some of the same Lett land he inherited and 
is still owned by his son, John Wesley, II and 
Edgar Lett) decided to try growing tobacco. 
Allotments were not in force at that time. Edd 
and Raymond worked side by side until old 
age forced them to pass it to the next genera- 
tion. The tobacco grew and cured well, thus 
becoming the main money crop. 

Along with his farming, Raymond was a 
blacksmith. Farmers came early in the morn- 
ing before he left for the fields and on rainy 
days, taking advantage of this time to get their 
mules and horses shod. 

In 1911, Raymond married Addie Burns 
and built a part of this house. More rooms 
were added as the family grew to five chil- 
dren. Doyette, Lessie, Vernie, Eula and Kur- 
ds grew up here. Raymond died in 1 980 at the 
age of 89. A son, Doyette, lives here on the 
farm. The low grounds still grow corn and 
grain and with the Jordan Lake dam, there is 
no fear of flooding. 

Submitted by Vernie Lett H'omack. 


Since at least 1800 four generations have 
been landowners and farmers in central 
North Carolina. 

Matthew K. Watson, my grandfather, and 
his brother, Neill Watson, owned a vast 
amount of land used for farming purposes 

My grandfather, Matthew K. Watson, mar- 
ried Julia Howard. To this union eight chil- 
dren were born, five daughters and three sons. 
All three sons died at an early age from diph- 


theria. Of the five daughters, the youngest, 
Matilda Watson, who was my mother, mar- 
ried William Alexander (Eck) Sloan. To this 
union seven children were born, two boys and 
five girls. I, the second youngest, am Annie 
Maude Sloan McNeill, widow of Clarence 
Moore McNeill. 

In 1951 with hard work, good health and 
good management, we negotiated and bought 
out the other heirs of the William Alexander 
(Eck) Sloan farm which originated from the 
Matthew K. and Julia Howard Watson estate. 

This century farm located in the heart of 
Lee County has continued to be farmed to 
produce forage for the beef cattle; also, cot- 
ton, corn, tobacco, beans, oats, rye and milo. 

With hard work, good health, and good 
management, and unless something disas- 
trous and unforeseen occurs, this land will 
continue to be farmed into the next century. 
Submitted by Mrs. Clarence M. McNeill (Mrs. 

Annie Maude Sloan McNeill) 


Our farm, now 42.5 acres, is known as the 
S.L. and Irene Brooks Poole homeplace. This 
land was deeded to my mother, Irene Brooks 
Poole in 1913. This was part of the farm 
owned by her parents, William Isaac and 
Susanna Hunt Brooks. Susanna was given this 
land by her father, Carney C. Hunt in July 
1889. Carney Hunt was deeded this land by 
his father, Dempsev Hunt, born January 22, 
1793, died July 8, 1865. 

S.L. and Irene Brooks Poole around 1941 

Silas L. Poole was reared on a farm near 
New Hill. After taking a telegraph operators 
course in Rome, Georgia, he went to Lemon 
Springs to work at the train depot. There he 
met my mother who lived with her family 
near Sanford. My mother and her sisters were 
school teachers. My parents were married in 
1910. After working at St. Pauls and Hope 
Mills, they decided to move to the farm in 

My father cleared the wooded land, built a 
tobacco barn and was among the first tobacco 
farmers in Lee County. He built the house 
that now stands on the farm. 

My brother, William T. Poole, my younger 
sister and I helped my father with the farm 
work. We raised tobacco, cotton, corn and a 
large garden. My mother did the cooking, can- 
ning and caring for her family. My parents 
went to the curb market in Sanford on Satur- 
day mornings where they sold baked goods, 
vegetables and dairy products. 

My sister, Melba Poole Keye, and her fami- 
ly built on part of the homeplace. Her daugh- 
ter, Carolyn Keye, and a son, Andy Keye, 
both built on lots on the farm. I acquired the 
farm after my mother's death in 1 970, buying 
my brother and sister's parts. My father died 
in 1968. Submitted by Veanna P. Goodwin 


The uniqueness of my farm is that it is 
located inside the city limits of Sanford. It is 
the last remaining portion of the original Levi 
Gunter farm which I have traced to January 
1 5, 1850 by deed. The farm is older than that; 
however, as evidenced on the deed of January 
1 5, 1 850, which lists one of the survey calls as 
ending at Levi Gunter's corner. This is defi- 
nite evidence of a farm prior to the addition of 
that purchase of acreage. The farm has con- 
tinuously been in the family, passing to Truss 
B. Gunter, my grandfather and son of Levi 
Gunter; then to my mother, a school principal 
and teacher in Sanford for 40 years. She is 
now deceased. 

The farm is now out of cultivation and has 
some 50 year old trees in the timber, both 
hardwood and pine. 

The original farmhouse and gin have been 
removed for many years. My present home is 
nine years old. I am a N.C. retired state troop- 
er and investigator for the state of North Car- 
olina and live with my wife of 42 plus years. 
Our son and two daughters are married and 
we have four grandchildren. 

Submitted by William A. Riggsbee 


Since 1856, four generations of the Wicker 
and Scoggins family have owned and farmed 
land that was inherited and bought in the 
southeastern part of Moore (now Lee) Coun- 

In 1856 John A. Wicker bought 100 acres of 
land, located on the Big Juniper Creek, from 
Alexander Mc.Iver. In 1 870 Margaret Wicker 
bought 96 acres from Joseph D. Morris and 
wife Catherine. She and husband, John A. 
Wicker, reared six children and farmed this 
land until 1895. At this time the land was 
divided into six parts. 

Mary Ann Wicker Scoggins inherited one 
share and she and husband E.M. Scoggins 
bought three more shares making a total of 
108 acres. 

E.M. and Mary were the parents of four 
daughters, two of whom died young. At the 
death of E.M. and Mary, Mattie and Cather- 
ine inherited the farm. They farmed the land 
growing cotton, tobacco and corn. 

In 1921 Mattie and Catherine adopted a 
son and daughter, Walter and Martha. They 
inherited the farm in 1938. 

Front: Sarah Jane Scoggins. Back, L to R: Mattie, 
Catherine and Mary Scoggins. 

In 1 939 Walter married Ruby Rogers. They 
reared three children, Alfred, Carolyn, and 
Dianne, who grew up on the farm and helped 
with the farming operation. In 1942 Walter 
bought Martha's one half share. 

After 1944 the tobacco and cotton were 
grown by a tenant while Walter planted corn, 
wheat, and soybeans. At that time he man- 
aged the farm and also worked at Ft. Bragg. 

In 1952 Walter and Ruby built a seven 
room house next door and since that time 
have rented the old home. 

In 1958 Walter and Ruby bought the 
adjoining Brogan land which was originally 
part of the Wicker farm, making a total of 242 

Walter has retired but continues to live on 
and manage the farm and practice conserva- 
tion to preserve the soil and natural resources 
of his land. 

Submitted by H 'alter and Ruby Scoggins 


The Broadway N.C. Centennial Book 
( 1 890- 1 970) states "Records show that one of 
the first inhabitants of this community was a 
Mr. Hugh Matthews, born in 1808 in the 
vicinity of what is currently Sunny Acres. He 
died in 1 887 and was buried in the Smith fam- 
ily graveyard." 

The Smith farm in Broadway, N.C. 

The Smith family farm ownership can be 
traced back to January 14, 1857 when Hugh 
and Edith Matthews purchased 350 acres of 


land from John Green for $1,050. Hugh and 
Edith Matthews had seven children and the 
grandmother of the present farm landowner 
was the seventh child, Frances Anne Mat- 
thews, who was born March 26, 1 860. Part of 
the farm as it is now was inherited by Frances 
Anne Matthews. J.D. Matthews married the 
seventh daughter of Hugh Matthews, Rebec- 
ca, who was born November 11, 1851, and 
they purchased 107 acres of land for $250 on 
October 29, 1881 from Alfred and Sarah J. 
Hinesh, and in years to come, a portion of this 
was purchased by three of Frances Anne Mat- 
thews' children. Frances Anne Matthews 
married Albert R. Smith and they had four 
children. On July 1 8, 1 928 three of these four 
children were still unmarried and they pur- 
chased 48 acres in two tracts of adjoining land 
from their uncle, J.D. Matthews. One of these 
three, John Alton Smith, married Mary Eliza- 
beth Allen and they had four children. The 
remaining sister and one brother never mar- 
ried and their inheritance remained intact to 
be passed on to their brother, John Alton's, 
children. At the time of his death in 1973, 
there remained 1 57 acres of the original farm. 
Since that time two of his children have sold 
all of their interest in the farm. Two daughters 
still retain ownership in 1 13.5 acres, 61.5 of 
this being on the designated century farm. 
There is one acre deeded off for the Smith 
family cemetery. Frances Anne Smith mar- 
ried Robert Edmonds and now owns 52 acres 
of the Smith farm. Dorothy Lee Smith mar- 
ried James William King and now owns 61.5 
acres. The family home which was built 
around the turn of the century is on the desig- 
nated farm and is in the process of being 

Through the years, this fertile land has been 
used for a variety of crops. At one time it was 
a big cotton producer. Until a few years ago, 
there was a railway through the farm and at 
one time dewberries were raised and shipped 
by rail for commercial use. More recently the 
farm has been used mostly for tobacco with 
some soybeans, corn and other grains. Much 
truck farming has also been done on this farm 
in recent years. 

The farm is on both sides of Main Street in 
Broadway — a portion of the farm actually 
being in the city limits. At the present time, 
the sixth generation is living on the farm. 
Progress moves on and in 1986 the city 
installed a sewage system and ran a sewer line 
through the farm. But from mules and wagons 
to tractor and combines, pole barns to metal 
curing barns, wells and springs of water to 
running water, outdoor toilets to indoor bath- 
rooms, the farming goes on. 

Submitted by Mr. and Mrs. James W. King 

Lenoir County 


The Dail family farm has been in the family 
in excess of 200 years. Land was granted to 
Roger Cauley in Lenoir (Dobbs) County on 
March 4, 1775 and was passed to Thomas 
Cauley, his son. Subsequently, the property 
transferred to Stephen Cauley, son of Thomas 
Cauley and Elizabeth Nunn Cauley. Upon his 
death the land was acquired by his daughter, 
Cora Cauley Dail, wife of Sam Dail. Cora 
Cauley Dail left the farm to her three children, 
Eliza, Giles Samuel and Annie Lee, who are 

Lee — Lenoir 

all deceased. Presently the farm is owned by 
Mrs. Giles S. Dail (Margaret Davis Dail) and 
sons. They are R. Lindsey Dail and wife, Lola 
Haynes, and Giles Dail, Jr. and wife, Marlene 
Reschke, and son, Roger Samuel Dail. The 
farm is located in Neuse township in the west- 
ern part of the county. 

The family farm has survived through hard 
work and dedication to the land. There has 
been a saying through the years "that if you 
look after the land it will look after you." 

Submitted by Giles Dail, Jr. 


The Hill family has owned land in Lenoir 
County since at least 1851. Official records 
show ownership as follows: 1851-1878 to 
Lannie C. Hill; 1878-1881 to Nathan Hill; 
1881-1901 to Jonas Hill; 1901-1954 to John 
E. Hill; and 1954 to date Whitford Hill. 

Whitford and Gladys Hill (seated). Standing L to R: 
Marsha Hill, Sue Hill Rogers, Roger Hill, Eleanor 
Hill Goette, and Douglas Hill. 

Jonas Hill was the grandfather and John E. 
Hill was the father of the present owner, Whit- 
ford Hill. Over the years these men bought 
and sold various tracts, but at its largest the 
farm included many hundreds of acres. 

Whitford Hill and wife have now retired 
from farming and moved to Raleigh, but they 
continue to own and lease out 30 acres of the 
original Hill farm at Rt. 1, Deep Run. The 
farm, one of North Carolina's most produc- 
tive, once grew tobacco, corn and soybeans. 

Born January 22, 1913, Whitford Hill has 
had a long career in farming and related 
fields. On April 21, 1933 the day he graduated 
from high school, he married his high school 
sweetheart, Gladys Stroud, who had graduat- 
ed a year earlier as valedictorian of her class. 

They lived and farmed with Whitford's 
father until the Farm Security Administra- 
tion was established in 1939. They became 
the first couple in Lenoir County to qualify 
for an FSA loan to buy a farm. It was a 1 00% 
loan at three percent for 40 years; they paid it 
off in five years. 

Over the years Whitford owned and man- 
aged farm acreage in Lenoir and Duplin 
Counties, producing tobacco, corn, beef cat- 
tle and hogs. He retired from active operation 
in the early 1960s, but continued for some 
years as manager. 

He worked on the Kinston tobacco market 
for 20 years. He also was employed as an 
instructor for World War II veterans in on- 
the-job farming. In 1946 he was employed by 
the N.C. Department of Agriculture to do sta- 
tistical work with the crop reporting service. 

Mr. Hill served on the original local and 
county PM A committee; was chairman of the 
county ASCS committee; chairman of ten- 
county ASCS review committee; was a 13- 
county regional winner in "Better Farming 
for Living" program in 1948. 

Whitford was a Lenoir County commis- 
sioner for ten years. He served on the Plan- 
ning and Building Committee of Lenoir 
County Community College and was a mem- 
ber of the college's original Board of Trustees. 
Other positions held: chairman of Agriculture 
Committee; Kinston Chamber of Commerce; 
member of local school board; member of 
Board of Directors, First Citizens Bank, Pink 
Hill, 1954 to date; member of Ridge Road 
Baptist Church, Raleigh; a democrat and a 
M ason . Submitted by Whitford Hill 


Harriet Susan Parrott (1834-1875), sister 
of my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Par- 
rott (1838-1901), was the first owner known 
to us, of the 1 84 acre parcel. She was married 
to James Thaddeus "Thad" Askew on August 
24, 1858, and to them seven children were 
born. Only two of whom (Lucy and Bill) sur- 
vived to become adults. Subsequently, Lucy 
Askew married her cousin, Lewis Lynn Par- 
rott, but none of their children survived. She 
later inherited 25 acres of this farm. 

A drawing of the Parrott-Moseley-Fletcher farm. 

Following the death of my great aunt, Har- 
riet S.P. Askew, her widower, Thad, married 
Sarah L. (Sack) Waiters. Thus, it was at the 
sale of her estate in January 1919 that the 159 
acres purchased by my father's uncle, L.C. 
Moseley, which 1 2 months later in early 1 920 
were bought from him by my father, L.O. 
Moseley. Thus was the beginning of the Edge- 
wood Farm. 

While the money crop was cotton, the ten- 
ant labor must have planted corn and hay for 
the mule teams, feed for the hogs, chickens 
and possibly a few sheep, as well as a garden 
and a fruit orchard. Not only was it necessary 
to grow food, but fiber was needed for cloth- 
ing. Moreover, it was in early 1920 that my 
father moved his little family from his late 
father's farm (W.O. Moseley) to this farm. Of 
the seven children born to my parents, four 
girls survived. 

To clear the land, to move the barn and sta- 
bles and to repair the leaks in the roof of the 
old house were high priorities for my father. 
"Live-at-home" became the motto of the 

Growing from two or three hand-milked 
cows in a lean-to shed, the cash-producing 


dairy operations gradually increased to more 
than 24 cows milked by electric milking 
machines in a concrete block dairy barn built 
by farm labor with two tile silos and a milk 
house forcoolingand bottlingthe rich Guern- 
sey milk for delivery to the customer's door- 
step. Any and all farm chores were the work of 
all family members along with tenant family 

Crops grown here were gradually changing 
from king cotton to king tobacco. Yet, still 
with the need for corn and hay for the cows, 
fewer mules and more hogs, some soybeans 
were inter-planted with the corn. The small 
peach orchard came into production about 
this time so a roadside stand was built at the 
edge of the year on the newly paved road. A 
few truck crops were added to be sold with the 
peaches, anything to add to cash income. The 
six acres planted with Stuart pecan trees were 
not productive until many years in the future. 

By about 1950 the adjoining farm on the 
west was for sale, and the 55 acre strip very 
neatly squared-off the farm to a total now of 
249 acres. Now a widower in failing health, 
L.O. "Tave" Moseley welcomed the next year 
his eldest daughter and family, the Paul L. 
Fletchers to operate the farm. Subsequently, 
following his death, the Fletchers and a sister, 
Sally Moseley Lowe, bought the interest of the 
other two sisters and formed a partnership 
known as "Edgewood Farm." 

Today this farm is operated by one full- 
time person in addition to manager Tave 
Moseley Fletcher. Fave represents the fifth 
generation in 1 30 years of known family own- 

A steadily diminishing tobacco allotment 
and the restrictive grain crop programs have 
necessitated adjustments to ensure our sur- 
vival as farmers. Fortunately, when the dairy 
phased out in the early 1 950s, those facilities 
were adapted to a beef cattle program. At that 
time, both feeder calves and fattening-to- 
Finish were here, but the demise of local 
slaughter houses again necessitated a change. 
With the availability of feeder calves at the 
NCDA graded sales in North Carolina, inci- 
dentally started in the 1940s by Paul L. 
Fletcher; about 125 calves are put on winter 
grazing of rye each fall. As needed, silage and 
a small amount of corn are added and in mid 
April these calves are moved to bluegrass 
grazing on the Fletcher land in southwest Vir- 
ginia for the summer months. By September 
they are sold and the process begins again. 

Submitted by Isabelle M. Fletcher 


In 1863 George W. Rouse, my husband's 
great-grandfather, owned over 500 acres in 
the Liddcll-Wooten's Crossroads section of 
Lenoir County. The land has been passed 
from generation to generation since that time. 
In September 1891 the property was deeded 
to George's children by a commissioner's 
deed. My husband's grandfather, B.H. Rouse, 
George's youngest child, inherited 105 acres 
of farmland. At his death in the early 1930s, 
Billy's wife, Annie Shivar Rouse, and seven 
children inherited the land. In 1947 the land 
was equally divided. In November 1979 my 
husband, Alton and I purchased his father's 
farm, which had narrowed down to 33 acres. 
In 1979 farmland was priced very high. 


During the past 100 years, tobacco, corn, 
beans, wheat and cotton have been grown on 
all this land. 

Since we bought the farm, the tobacco allot- 
ment has decreased by 50%. We grow tobacco 
and grain each year. My husband and I both 
work off the farm. We have two children who 
love and appreciate the farmland just as we 
do. We hope to be able to maintain the family 
farm and to leave it to our children. We are 
very grateful to be able to keep the farm 
through these very difficult times. 

Submitted by Alton and Mary Gwynn Rouse 


The Frank Rouse family lives on the north- 
western edge of Kinston on land bought by 
their great-great-grandfather, William White, 
in 1871 from John Tull. In 1872 William 
White sold a northern portion of this tract to 
his oldest daughter, Mary Ann White and her 
husband Bright Hill. 

Eliza Ellen White Rouse, Troy Rouse and James 
Franklin Rouse. 

Before coming to Lenoir County, William 
White lived in Greene County near the Lenoir 
County line. He was an active supporter of the 
Wheat Swamp Christian Church. His former 
homeplace and his cemetery are on Lenoir 
County RR 1 540. The house which burned in 
the 1960s, is pictured in "The History of 
Greene County" by James Creech. His wife 
was Elizabeth Creech, daughter of Ezekiel 

William White's youngest daughter, Eliza 
Ellen White who lived on the southern por- 
tion of the 1 87 1 tract with her father, married 
James Franklin Rouse, son of Jesse Hardee 
Rouse and wife, Elizabeth Jane Kennedy 

Revolutionary War ancestors of this family 
included Captain John Kennedy, Ezekiel 
Creech, and Major Croom Sr. 

Troy Rouse, son of James Franklin and Eli- 
za White Rouse, married Nellie Dawson, 
daughter of Alex Thomas Dawson and his 

wife, Trumilla Nethercut, and their first child 
was Frank. 

James Franklin Rouse, his son Troy, and 
their wives were very active in the Wheat 
Swamp Christian Church and Frank Rouse 
also had his membership there. His wife, Sue, 
daughter of Charles and Mildred Hill John- 
son, and their three sons, James Franklin 
Rouse, Herbert Lee Rouse, and Charles Mab- 
son LaRoque Rouse, are members of Gordon 
Street Christian Church. 

In addition to the crops of cotton, corn, 
tobacco, soybeans and wheat, sheep and cat- 
tle have been raised on this farm. Involved in 
Lenoir County livestock activities, Frank 
Rouse also served as president of the North 
Carolina Angus Association in 1 963 and as a 
director in 1962, 1963 and 1964. The farm 
was designated a tree farm during the late 

Of interest to the family have been the fos- 
sils found on their place. The shark's teeth 
and the whale's vertebrae were identified by 
the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sci- 
ences as belonging to the Miocene period, one 
of those periods when this farm was under the 

Frank Rouse continues to operate the farm 
honored as a North Carolina century farm in 
1975, 1980, and 1986. Submitted by Sue Rouse 


Since the year 1880 five generations of 
Taylors have been landowners and farmers in 
the northern part of Lenoir County. David W. 
Taylor, born in 1849, lived with his father 
near the farm, he, David W. Taylor purchased 
in 1880 from a neighbor, William H. 

Susan Jackson Taylor, wife of David W. Taylor, and 
Ruth Taylor Newton, daughter of David W. Taylor. 

The farm, which is located on the north side 
of Lousin Swamp, had 1 50 acres when he pur- 
chased it. David and his family moved to this 
farm in 1880, and some of his heirs are still 
living and farming it. 

In 1900 David W. Taylor purchased from 
Alice M. Watson, 76 acres of land, that 
adjoined the above mentioned farm. David 
W. Taylor's farming consisted of cotton, live- 
stock and corn. Tobacco was first planted on 
this farm in 1 895. Very little was known about 
tobacco production in Lenoir County, so 
some people from the Old Belt were hired to 
teach farmers in Lenoir County how to grow 
tobacco. Some of the heirs of these people, 
who moved to Lenoir County in the early 
1 900s are still living here. 

In 1 925 David W. Taylor died, leaving his 
farm in his will, to his three sons and one 


daughter. Their names were Paul, Reid Hen- 
ry, William Ralph and Ruth. 

Paul Taylor sold his share to his brother, 
William Ralph Taylor in 1937. 

In 1940 William Ralph Taylor purchased 
from Mr. W.T. Moseley's heirs, 75 acres of 
land which adjoined the land that William 
Ralph Taylor had inherited from his father, 
David W. Taylor. 

In 1 943 Ruth Taylor Newton died, and her 
farm was left to a daughter, Eloise N. Forrest 
and two sons, James and John H. Newton. 
Eloise later purchased her two brothers' 
shares in their mother's (Ruth) farm. 

In 1970 Eloise N. Forrest sold her farm to 
W. Ralph Taylor, Jr., son of William Ralph 
Taylor, Sr. 

The portion of land that David W. Taylor 
willed to his son, Reid Henry Taylor, now 
belongs to his son, Robert David Taylor. 

William Ralph Taylor, Sr. and his brother 
Reid Henry Taylor were both World War I 
Veterans serving in the navy and army respec- 
tively. The two brothers operated the farm 
using equipment which was considered mod- 
ern at the time consisting of tractors, power- 
driven hay balers, cotton gins and other such 
equipment until their retirement. 

In 1977 William Ralph Taylor, Sr. died, 
and his 217 acres were divided among his 
three heirs which consisted of one son, Wil- 
liam Ralph Taylor, Jr., and two daughters, 
Edna Taylor Gower and Jean Taylor Robert- 
son. Jean Taylor Robertson still owns her 
share of the farm, but Edna Taylor Gower 
sold her share in 1 984 to Ralph Fleming Tay- 
lor, son of William Ralph Taylor, Jr. 

The original 1 50 acres of the David W. Tay- 
lor farm is still owned and operated by Wil- 
liam Ralph Taylor, Jr. and his son Ralph 
Fleming Taylor. 

Submitted by W. Ralph Taylor, Jr. 


In 1840 my great-grandfather, James Tin- 
dal purchased a tract of woodland from his 
neighbor, Richard Noble for one dollar per 
acre. I have this deed in my possession. The 
last name of Tyndall was spelled three differ- 
ent ways in it. 

Home of James "Jim" Tyndall and wife, Winnifred 
built around 1845. L to R: Andrew Herman Tyndall, 
John Tyndall, Oscar Tyndall, Polly Howard Tyn- 
dall, and Andrew Jackson Tyndall. 

He cleared part of this tract and farmed it 
for his living. He was married to Winifred 
Davis and they had nine children (seven girls 
and two sons). He died and left the farm to his 
two sons, A.J. and Henderson. He left his 
daughters equal amounts of money each. 

Andrew Jackson or A.J. was my grandfa- 
ther and he inherited the original house on his 

Lenoir — Lincoln 

half of the farm. He raised nine children, also. 
Around the turn of the century, he remodeled 
the house, putting a chimney at each end and 
two more bedrooms across the back. Also the 
log kitchen was replaced with a frame one. All 
this work was done by A.J. and his oldest son, 
Oscar. They were both good carpenters and 

My father, the youngest of the nine, inherit- 
ed his father's farm, but grandfather had 
worked out and paid for eight other farms, so 
each child was given equal size farms. A.J. 
Tyndall was a good manager as this shows, 
and very respected. 

I moved this 1840 house to Pink Hill and 
restored it in 1972. It is open to the public and 
so is our old farm equipment museum, called 
the "Wilbur A. Tyndall Museum." 

Submitted by Wilbur A. Tyndall 


The farm owned by Oscar Wilson Waller 
became Waller land in the 1830s. The land is 
approximately seven miles south of Kinston 
and is bordered by Southwest Creek and the 
approximate intersection of U.S. Highway 
258 Sand County Road 1141. It is in the heart 
of the Woodington Community. 

Records indicate the land was settled in the 
1 830s by Joseph Waller (great-grandfather of 
the present owner). The land had previously 
been part of the vast land holdings of Richard 
Caswell, first governor of North Carolina. 
Caswell experienced financial difficulties and 
his plantation of over 1000 acres, known as 
Woodington, was obtained by others, includ- 
ing the partial settled on by Joseph Waller. 
The land originally was occupied by the Neu- 
siok Indians a part of the Tuscarora Nation. 

Ownership was passed to Joseph Waller's 
son, Haywood, in 1884. During the mid- 
1800s through 1900, income was derived 
from corn, tobacco and turpentine farming. 

Millard Filmore Waller, Sr., son of Hay- 
wood Waller, became record owner in 1901. 
He diversified his farming operation with the 
addition of a "country store," gristmill, lum- 
ber mill and cotton gin. During this time a 
railroad operated in the area. Millard died in 
1926 leaving his widow, Lottie, with eight 
children to raise, 22 tenant families to care for 
and vast landholdings. The bank failure in 
1929 caused serious financial problems for 
Lottie G. Waller; however, she was able to 
continue ownership of the Waller land and 
actually acquired additional land prior to her 
death in 1953. 

During the quarter century that this widow, 
at the age of 44, became responsible for main- 
taining the Waller family land, she endured 
the "depression of 29"; and seeing five sons 
be called to duty in World War II, her youn- 
gest not to return, the heritage values she had, 
together with hard work and determination 
caused the Waller land to be intact today. 

The farm was inherited by Oscar Wilson 
Waller, a minor, in 1926 and is owned and 
lived on today by him and his wife, Billie. 
Oscar farmed corn, cotton and tobacco. He 
still has his last bale of cotton produced in 
1950, which he has held in remembrance of 
how hard cotton farming was and how little 
money was made. Oscar also operated the 
"country store" and had a sizeable herd of 
beef cattle. 

The Waller name which is 920 years old 
and the Waller land in Woodington Town- 
ship of Lenoir County which has been in the 
family about 150 years, will both live long 
into the future. Submitted by Oscar W. Waller 

Lincoln County 


The Baxter and Hull families, along with 
another dozen or so families of British and 
German descent, settled the North Brook sec- 
tion of western Lincoln County in the late 
1 700s. Early settlement of the area began in 
the 1740s, but it was during the 1780s and 
1 790s that the major influx of settlers arrived. 

Pasture scene from Larry B. and Phyllis Adkins Bax- 
ter's farm. 

Peter Baxter and Benjamin Hull both 
arrived in this area in the 1790s. Parts of the 
present Baxter farm came from the property 
acquired by Benjamin Franklin Hull, grand- 
son of the original settler, between 1 847 and 

Waller Brothers Mill near Kinston, N.C. 



1855, and in the same community as his 
grandfather's land and adjacent to the origi- 
nal Peter Baxter lands. 

Before entering the Civil War in 1 863, Ben- 
jamin Franklin Hull made his will designating 
the tracts of land to go to each of his seven 
children. He subsequently was killed at 
Orange Courthouse, Virginia in 1864 and a 
part of his property was passed to his daugh- 
ter, Margaret Amanda, who later married 
Francis Asbury Boyles. In 1924 this part of 
the Boyles property was transferred to their 
first grandchild, Ben Franklin Baxter, son of 
their oldest child, Sarah Georganna (Sallie) 
and her husband, John Henry Logan Baxter, 
great-great-grandson of Peter Baxter. In 1928 
Ben Franklin Baxter bought another of the 
Hull estate tracts from his cousin Walter Hull, 
and Larry Ben Baxter, son of Ben Franklin 
Baxter, bought yet another of the Hull tracts 
from his cousin, W.A. (Willie) Hull in 1959. 

The present Baxter farm, owned by Larry 
Ben and Phyllis Adkins Baxter and operated 
as Circle B Farms since 1954, has over the 
years been a general cotton and small grain 
farm and is now devoted entirely to the pro- 
duction of purebred Polled Hereford cattle. 
Other adjacent tracts of the original Benjamin 
Franklin Hull farm are still owned by other 
members of the Baxter and Hull families. 

Submitted by Larry B. Baxter 


Since 1767 seven generations of Carpen- 
ters have been farming the land. From field 
crops consisting of wheat and corn, to cotton 
and soybeans, and to the dairying operation 
today, the land has been used and passed 
down through the years. 

An early Carpenter family photo. 

In 1 767 Jacob Carpenter urged his brother 
Peter, a blacksmith, to move to North Caroli- 
na from Pennsylvania. Peter and Jacob 
farmed corn and wheat and other grain crops 
on Peter's 1350 acres of land in Rutherford 
and Lincoln Counties. Peter's homeplace 
consisted of 342 acres of land along Indian 
Creek in Lincoln County south of Lincolnton. 

A captain during the Revolutionary War, 
Peter defended his home against the Chero- 
kee Indians. He fought on the Tory side at the 
Battle of Ramsour's Mill. Peter's regiment 
was beaten and he remained neutral through- 
out the remainder of the war. 

Peter deeded his land to his two sons, Wil- 
liam and Samuel. William later sold a portion 
of the original homeplace to R.G. Rutledge. 
This is presently owned by the Arrowood 

Samuel acquired additional land and was 
buried with his father in the Big Gullies Cem- 
etery. This is located on the present day farm 

Michael, Samuel's son. then received the 
land and operated the farm. He served as a 
captain in the Mexican War. Michael is bur- 
ied on land owned by his descendants. 

Michael's son, John F., resided on the same 
homestead. John F. served in the Civil War. 
He supposedly swam the Tennessee River to 
escape the Union Army. Thus his nickname 
became Tennessee John. 

John built a house in 1 879 which still stands 
on the homeplace land. 

John Edward, Sr. and John Edward, Jr. 
were the next two operators. 

Hal L., the second son of John E., Jr., 
farmed, with his father, corn, wheat and cot- 
ton until 1 948 when John E. sold milk to Car- 
nation. John and Hal began selling Grade A 
milk in 1 966. John died in 1 982, but Hal con- 
tinued the dairy business. His main crops 
include corn, sorghum, barley and soybeans. 
Hal presently owns 80 cows and farms 300 
acres. Submitted by Hal Carpenter 


My farms are in Lincoln and Catawba 
counties. The Lincoln County farm was the 
homeplace of my maternal grandfather, Bur- 
ton C. Wood, who was a long time register of 
deeds of Lincoln County and other public 
offices. It is located in Howard's Creek Town- 
ship and has 1 50 acres. It is now owned by my 
wife and myself. 

The Catawba County tract is located in 
Bandy's Township of Catawba County. It was 
the homeplace of my maternal grandmother, 
Emma Hudson Wood, as well as her father, 
J.F. Hudson. It is now owned by my wife and 
myself and is used as a tree farm. 

Submitted by John K. Cline 


Heafners have been farming along Rock- 
dam Creek in western Lincoln County since 

George W. Heafner in front of the Heafner home- 

the 1750s. George Washington Heafner, a 
great-grandson of the original settler, pur- 
chased and cleared two adjacent tracts of land 
in 1 874 near the original Heafner settlement. 
On this 230 acre farm, he finished building a 
large house in 1877, patterned after one he 
admired on his walk home from the surrender 
at Appomattox. The house, barn, granary, 
smokehouse and log corn crib, all morticed 
with wooden pegs, are still being used. A car- 
penter by trade, George also had a blacksmith 
shop. In the 1 880s he purchased two tracts of 
bottomland along Leonard's Fork of Indian 

In 1908 CM., the youngest of the seven 
children, bought 1 12.5 acres from his father, 
including the house and outbuildings. He and 
his wife farmed and reared ten children. 
George lived with C.M.'s family until his 
death at age 95 in 1 927. The remainder of the 
property was sold. 

CM. and his family worked hard growing 
mostly cotton, and saved for college educa- 
tions for the children. But with the depres- 
sion, they lost their savings in a local bank. In 
spite of this hardship all ten children became 
college graduates, entering the teaching, nurs- 
ing and business professions. Four sons and 
one daughter were in World War II. 

C.M.'s second son, Banks, helped his par- 
ents run the farm after the war. From 1 952 to 
1 962 he had a Grade A dairy, selling milk to 
Coble Dairy. Then he turned from dairy to 
beef cattle. When his parents died, he inherit- 
ed the farm. Presently, he has pasture and 
makes hay for his more than 30 head of cattle. 

Only time will tell if Banks' son and daugh- 
ter will continue the family's farming tradi- 
tion. Submitted by Banks S. Heafner 


Jacob Rhyne got a land grant in 1787 for 
this land. We have the original grant. His 
daughter, Sarah Catherine Rhyne married 
Rev. John Hovis. We presume Rev. John 
Hovis and wife Catherine inherited the land 
and it is said Jacob and wife are buried in the 
Hovis cemetery and since John Hovis and 
wife owned the land it is called Hovis ceme- 
tery. It is still in the Hovis family. 

L.J. Hovis and wife Margaret are owners 
now. We inherited it from Charlie Soloman 
and Susan Hovis. Aunt Susan owned half the 
land and Charlie owned the other half by tak- 
ing care of the above. We have one son, Eddie 
and he has three sons. Mike, the oldest, lives 
close to us in a trailer and the other two will 
probably live on the land also; so we hope it 
will be in the family for years. It is said Jacob 
Rine willed his wife 100 pounds hard money 
gold and silver. The story goes during the Civ- 
il War, the Hovis' had a slave named Nelson 
and they had him hide a pot of gold and he 
died that night and they never knew where it 
was hid. The house the first Hovis' lived in 
was over on the old place close to the Hovis 
graveyard and was later moved over on the 
part where we are now living. We are sorry we 
didn't restore it. 

Michael Rufus Hovis married Nancy 
Cline. This is L.J. grandfather Solomon 
Hovis was L.J. great-grandfather. His great- 
great-grandfather John Hovis all were raised 
on this farm. We have a Bob Hovis who lives 
in Mt. Shasta, California doing a book on the 
Hovis'. In fact it is just about finished. We 



?! >■ 

The old house that was used 

erected a monument for the pioneer George 
Hovis, Sr. and their children and a Rhyne 
man from Ward, Oklahoma has a plaque con- 
cerning the pioneer Rhyne family. We are 
now 76 years old and not farming too much. 
We have 1 5 head of cattle and do vegetables 
for a farmer's market. At one time there were 
600 acres, but we own 83 acres now. Hoping 
to add more later. Submitted by Mrs. L.J. Hovis 


It was in 1732 that the pioneer family of 
Andreas Killian arrived in Philadelphia from 
the Rhenish Palatinate area of Germany. By 
1 734 the family had migrated to North Caro- 
lina. Seventy-six years later, 1810, a son, 
Ephraim was born to David Killian, a grand- 
son of Andreas. By this time a large number of 
Killian descendants had settled in what is 
now Catawba County. 

by all generations of Hovises. 

There are four large rooms in this part of the 
house (two down and two upstairs). There is 
a large hall between the rooms with the stairs 
leading to the two upper rooms from the lower 
hall. There is a one-story ell on the back hous- 
ing the kitchen and dining room. A narrow 
porch extended on the north side of these two 
rooms. In the middle 1 920s this narrow porch 
was enlarged in width and screened in. Later, 
windows replaced the screens. Actually, the 
house is very much as it was when construct- 

The house has remained in the Killian fam- 
ily, having been willed to Amzi's son, David, 
then to David's son Frank. Frank has deeded 
the property to his daughter, Jane Killian 
Conner, who is the present owner. Jane's hus- 
band and son farm the land. 

With the exception of Amzi's youngest son, 
Edwin, who died as a youth, the remaining 
children, except David, married and estab- 
lished homes elsewhere. David took care of 
his parents, farmed the land and was a rural 
mail carrier on one of the routes out of the 
Lincolnton post office. Because of an accident 
to his mother resulting in a broken hip, David 
gave up the job as a regular carrier to be the 
substitute, therefore, giving him more time at 
home. David married Bessie Era Lantz who 
helped care for his parents and helped with 
the farm work. They raised four children all of 
who have college degrees. 

Since the death of David Killian in 1 976 the 
farmhouse has been rented to several differ- 
ent families. 

Submitted by Mrs. Jane Killian Conner 

The Killian farmhouse. 

Ephraim's son, Amzi Adolphus, married 
Barbara Elizabeth Coon in 1873 and estab- 
lished a home in Lincoln County. On the 25th 
of September, 1874, Amzi bought a tract of 
land in the Daniels Community containing 
60 acres, two and one third poles from Caleb 
and Emaline A. Motz. Over a period of time 
small tracts were purchased to increase the 
acreage to 73 acres. 

The original house was of logs. The number 
of rooms it contained is not known. Ladder- 
like steps, located in the back center of the 
main structure, led to the loft where the older 
sons of Amzi slept. Today this building is used 
for storing farm machinery and farm tools. 

Eventually, a new home was built in 1888. 
The house is a two-story frame structure. 


The first Lantz to settle in Lincoln County 
in 1 787 was Hans George whose farmer father 

The Lantz farm in Lincolnton, N.C. 

had come from Germany to Berks County, 
Pennsylvania. George purchased land west of 
the South Fork of the Catawba River along 
Potts Creek near the Lincoln-Catawba Coun- 
ty line. An original 1 787 deed still in the fami- 
ly's possession states that he paid "two hun- 
dred pounds-good and lawful money" for a 
tract of land on August 1 1 of that year. 

One of his sons, Jacob, continued to farm 
the land until his death in 1849. Succeeding 
Jacob was a son also named Jacob. This Jacob 
and wife, Linnie, moved from a log house to 
their new two-story wooden frame house in 
1858. This same house has provided a home 
for four generations of Lantzs. During the 
Civil War Jacob served in the Confederate 
Army, was captured at Gettysburg, and died 
in prison at Point Lookout. His widow and 
son, John Franklin, operated the farm, by this 
time reduced to less than half its 400 acre size 
due to financial losses resulting from the war. 

Among the crops grown by John Franklin 
were wheat, oats, barley, corn, cane, clover 
and cotton. He also grew upland chaff rice 
and won a bronze medal for his "good quality 
and fine arrangement" rice exhibit in the 
1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chi- 

After John's death in 1928 his son, Coy 
Franklin, farmed the land. By using the latest 
farming practices of his time, Coy was able to 
support his wife, Daisy, and four children. 
During a severe July 1936 thunderstorm, 
lightning struck and burned the original 
wooden log barn. Neighbors helped with the 
barn raising to replace the lost building. In the 
early 1950s he upgraded his dairy business 
into a Grade A operation. Coy died in 1969. 

For twenty years Mrs. Coy Lantz has man- 
aged the 1 63 acre farm which is being used to 
grow silage crops to support a herd of dairy 
cows. It was the desire of Coy Franklin that 
his farm remain in the Lantz family. 

Submitted by John Lantz 


The Reep brothers dairy farm is located on 
the headwaters of Leonards Fork Creek in 
Howards Creek Township of Lincoln County, 
seven miles west of Lincolnton. The paved 
county road number 1 140 from N.C. High- 
way 27 to Flay cuts through the farm. The 
farm, containing 200 acres, was bought by 
Adolph Reep in 1795 from Michael Buff. 

Half of the land, known as the Jonas Reep 
farm, has been continuously owned and 
farmed to this day by Adolph's direct descen- 
dants. The other half, known as the John Reep 
farm, was owned by Ed Grigg for 45 years 
before it was bought in 1 964 by the dairy far- 
mer brothers Ervin Reep and Dean Reep who 
at the time reconnected the original 200 acres. 

A father-to-son succession of a major por- 
tion of the original farm from 1795 to the 
present time has been; Adolph Reep to his 
sons Jonas and John Reep in 1844; from 
Jonas to his son Logan Jacob Reep in 1889; 
from Logan Jacob to his son Luther Jones 
Reep in 1930; and from Luther Jones to his 
son, Harold Ervin Reep in 1971. 

The original homestead and the present 
dairy barn are located on the Jonas Reep 

Mrs. Luther Jones Reep, age 84, still lives at 
the Adolph Reep homeplace. Harold Ervin 
Reep's widow, Nevert, lives nearby, also on 


Lincoln — Macon 

The Reep family, taken in 1900. — L to R: The Lmgerfelt brothers, Alba Reep, Charlie Reep, Alice Reep, 
Jones Reep, Clarence Reep, Logan Jacob Reep and Mefinda Reep. The farmhouse was standing until 1947. 

the Jonas Reep place and Dean Reep lives on 
the John Reep place. Submitted by Harold 
Ervin Reep, Jacob E. Reep, and Huitt Reep 


With its full array of outbuildings and cen- 
ter hall plan frame house, the David C. Warl- 
ick farmstead is one of the most complete rep- 
resentatives of early farm life still standing in 
Lincoln County. Warlick (1848-1935) estab- 
lished his farm on a small portion of the 5 1 00 
acres his great-great-grandfather, Daniel 
Warlick, had received as a royal land grant in 
1749. His great-grandson, William R. Warl- 
ick, Sr., is the eighth generation of Warlicks to 
own and farm the property, approximately 
200 acres of which is the last of the land grant 
to remain in the family. His son, William 
Warlick, Jr. will carry on the tradition. 

grandfather, Thomas and father, Robert, 
both deceased, in tending the homestead, also 
being a Grade A dairy farm from 1952-1 962, 
with a registered Jersey herd. William farmed 
part-time and taught school 1 8 years, retiring 
in 1973, to farm full-time. At present, the 
Warlick farm raises beef cows and produces 
forage for the herd. 

William and wife, Betty, have two sons, 
William Jr. and Thomas. Thomas married 
and moved away; William Jr. lives at home. 
Their home is built on the farmstead and they 
are carefully restoring the David Warlick 
house. The Warlicks have been here 240 years 
on this land and hope the tradition continues. 

Submitted by William R. Warlick 


The Warlick house in Lincolnton, N.C. 

More than 1 5 frame outbuildings are infor- 
mally arranged to the rear of the farmhouse. 
Closest to the house are the well house, 
smokehouse and engine room for the Delco 
electric light system which served prior to 
rural electrification. Behind are a shop, buggy 
house, bull house, hog pen, milk barn, cow 
barn and grainery, plus sheds, silos and chick- 
en houses. Attached to the cow barn (signed 
1878) is one of only two wooden silos left 
standing in Lincoln County. 

William Warlick, Sr. was born and raised in 
the David Warlick farmhouse. He assisted his 

This farm consists of Sullivan land which 
has been handed down through generations to 
Craig Wood, whose mother was Marguerite 
Sullivan, who married Burton H. Wood. 

Sullivan tombstones. 

In 1874 Thomas Saltar of Philadelphia, 
through love and affection for James Sullivan 
and wife, Mary Cox Sullivan, deeded land to 
them. Mary Cox was a half sister to Thomas 
Saltar. Family tradition has it that Mary 
Cox's mother was a Morris, sister of Robert 
Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Inde- 

James Sullivan was a soldier in the Revolu- 
tionary War and was granted additional lands 
by the state of North Carolina. 

Of the original several hundred acres of 
land owned by James Sullivan, Craig and 
Dolores Wood own 197 acres. 

James Sullivan and Mary Cox Sullivan are 
buried on the farm and the inscription on 
their tombstones are still clearly legible. 

Submitted by Craig and Dolores Wood 

Macon County 


All that remains of the original home of 
William J. and Deborah Roberts Bradley is 
the outer shell of grey, aged lumber and origi- 
nal chimney stone — more than 150 years 
old. However, the heart of the land upon 
which William and Deborah settled and 
where the "old homeplace" still stands 
remains as a monument to a pioneer family. 

The remains of the original home of William J. and 
Deborah Roberts Bradley. 

William J. Bradley was born in Ashe Coun- 
ty on May 22, 1 823. Seeking employment, the 
young man journeyed to Pigeon Forge, Ten- 
nessee, where he met and married Deborah 
Roberts. Their search for farmland led them 
back across the Great Smokies, where they 
settled in Occonolufftee Community near 
Cherokee. (This area later became a part of 
the Smokey Mountain National Park) 

With a growing family to plan for, William 
and Deborah decided to move to a more "set- 
tled" community. In the mid 1860s they 
"swapped" their Occonolufftee property for 
several hundred acres of land and the home 
owned by the Conner family in the northern 
end of Macon County in what is known as the 
Oak Grove Community. A small creek ran 
through the property, which quickly became 
known as, and still remains, "Bradley Creek." 
As William and Deborah's children matured 
and married, the original acreage was divided 
among them. The remaining homeplace 
eventually consisted of approximately 100 
acres it still occupies. 

William J. Bradley died on December 31, 
1887. Deborah lived on until May 3, 1910, 
spending her widowhood with their children. 
Most of her time was spent at the old home- 
place with her son, the Rev. William (Bill) 
Bradley and his wife, Narcissa Ann Shuler 
Bradley. Rev. Bradley was very active in the 
Baptist Association and pastored many 
churches throughout Macon, Jackson and 
Swain Counties. After the death of Deborah, 
Rev. Bradley inherited the homeplace. He 
lived there until his death in 1945. After his 



death, the property went to his heirs and was 
later purchased from them by his grandson, 
Floyd Bradley (son of Joseph Hillard and Hal- 
lie Myrtle Welch Bradley). 

Floyd Bradley (1917-1984) was married to 
Bonnie Higdon of Macon County. Floyd was 
involved in custom excavation and logging, 
but he and Bonnie still maintained the farm. 
They concentrated on cattle farming, with 
some acreage for crops. After Floyd's death in 
September 1984, Bonnie and one of their 
sons, William Kelly, continue to live on the 
land in the modern home of Floyd and Bonnie 
built in 1958. Their other two sons, Floyd 
Argle and James Dale, live close by and con- 
tinued with the cattle farming and upkeep 
required to maintain their heritage. Argle, 
Dale, Kelly and their mother intend to see 
that the "Bradley Farm" on Bradley Creek 
will remain in the family for future genera- 
tions. They are proud of their great- 
grandparents, William J. and Deborah Rob- 
erts Bradley, and their descendants who made 
it possible for the present generations to call 
this land "home." 

Submitted by Bonnie Higdon Bradley 


Macon County was seven years old when 
Samuel Decater Bryson purchased property, 
May 2, 1836 through land grant at a cost of $5 
per 1 00 acres. It is not known how long he was 
here prior to that, since Cowee Baptist 
Church records state he gave property for the 
first church to be built in 1 830. They lived in 
a log home in Cowee Community on a hill six 
miles north of Franklin on the north side of 
the Little Tennessee River. 

A son, Samuel Byers Bryson, and wife, 
Mary Morrison Bryson bought property on 
October 5, 1868 from the Samuel Decater 
Bryson heirs. Their home was a two-story 
wood frame building which was destroyed by 
fire February 14, 1924. My father, Robert 
Taylor, the youngest of ten children, and Ila 
Gibson Bryson lived there at the time. The 
property had been divided August 7, 1896. 
Sixty years later, the wood frame home with a 
big front porch that he built was destroyed by 
fire. Pine logs with holes drilled in them were 
used to supply water to the spring house from 
the spring located several hundred feet away. 

Robert L. and Mattie Pearl Bryson 
McGaha purchased the heirs interest of Rob- 
ert T. Bryson on August 2, 1967. R.L. retired 
after 27 years in the U.S. Army. In 1977 they 
built a brick home with a panoramic view of 
the beautiful mountains. Over the years the 
land produced wheat, tobacco, corn and hay. 
Crops were cultivated with the help of oxen, 
horses, mules and at the present time with a 
tractor. Cattle now graze the hillsides. A 
bountiful garden to share and corn had been 
produced over 1 50 years. 

Submitted by Mattie Pearl Bryson McGaha 


On September 10, 1884 Nathaniel Hen- 
derson Parrish registered a land deed at 
Macon County courthouse for a 52 acre farm, 
located on Highway 28 about two miles north 
of Franklin. Purchased from William E. 
McDowell at a cost of $600, the property 
included a two-story, oak-hewn log structure, 
already rumored to be 75 to 100 years old. He 

The Calloways in front of their home in 1916 or 1917 
— Front row, L to R: Van, Julia holding Isabel, Jube 
holding Virginia and Lilv. Back row, L to R: Wade, 
Henderson and Janet. Their dog. Jack, is in the low- 
er left corner. 

A view of Cowee Mt., Cowee Baptist Church, old Cowee school, the present school and the country store. Tak- 
en from the hilltop where R.L. and Mattie Pearl Bryson McGaha live. 

was a thrifty, conservative homemaker, who 
made virtually all of our clothes on her white 
treadle sewing machine. She quilted, hooked 
rugs, crocheted, knitted, tatted, spun, cooked, 
kept boarders and read daily The Asheville 
Citizen and the Bible. She died on August 26, 
1963 at age 88. 

In 1971 the old home was torn down and 
replaced by a one and one-half story brick 
house on the same site. Wishing to save the 
logs from the original structure, I had a log 
cabin built nearby, into which I put several 
pieces of old furniture and household items to 
preserve the family heritage. Although the 
barn, shop and smokehouse were torn down, 
the rest of the old buildings have been main- 

On July 9, 1988 my brother, Henderson, 
age 86, died of cancer, leaving me at age 82 the 
sole survivor of the immediate family. Our 
sister Isabel (age 7) died of measles on Febru- 
ary 1 4, 1 924; brother Van (21) was killed in a 
car wreck in New York in 1931; Virginia, 
Wade, and Janet died in 1961, 1967, and 
1977, respectively. 

I still own and live on the original farm. 
This property has been willed to my three 
children: Julia Moody Britt of Charlotte; 
Marjone Moody Menefee of Ft. Lauderdale, 
Florida; and Charles Truman Moody. Jr. of 
Los Angeles, California, in the hopes that they 
will continue to preserve the homestead. 

Submitted by Lily Calloway Moody Cabe 


George W. Crawford, Jr. came to what is 
now Macon County in 1 826 and settled in the 
Cartoogechaye section. He purchased 97.5 
acres for $400 from his future father-in-law, 
John Moore. A two-story log house was built 

and his wife, the former Sarah Jane Vanhook 
enclosed the log structure with weatherboard- 
ing and added rooms to make a large, two- 
story house. 

In 1 894 after grandma Parrish died, grand- 
pa Parrish deeded the farm to his three daugh- 
ters — Julia Emmaline Parrish, Pallie P. West 
and Carrie P. Lyle. My mother, Julia, was giv- 
en the portion of property on which the house 
was located. On March 6, 1895 she married 
Jubal Early Calloway. They bought Aunt Car- 
rie Lyle's share in 1896 and Aunt Pallie 
West's in 1898, thereby owning, living on, 
and farming the entire tract. They had ten 
children, all born in the original enclosed part 
of the log house, and although three died in 
infancy, seven were reared on this homeplace. 

For that day and age my father, "Jube" Cal- 
loway, ran an up-to-date, self-sufficient farm, 
including blacksmith shop, smokehouse, 
grainery, huge log barn, garage, spring house, 
bee hives, chicken house, hog pen. Concord 
grape vines and pastureland. He had the latest 
equipment: threshing machine, wheat drill, 
corn planter, evaporator (for making molas- 
ses), cider mill, hay rake, grindstone, forge, 
bellows and various tools. For transportation, 
there was a horse or mule-drawn wagon, a sur- 
rey and a buggy. 

In 1915 papa bought a piano for $325 and 
two years later a Model T Ford for $399.25. 
Over the years many modern conveniences 
were added to the house and the farm. When 
he died on October 21,1 948, at age 8 1 , farm- 
ing ceased except for the vegetable garden, 
which my mother continued to tend. Mama 

The Crawford homeplace. 

beside a clear, cold spring with a grand view of 
Wayah Bald and surrounding mountains. 
Through land grants and by purchasing other 
tracts, George added to his holdings. 

A farmer throughout his long life of 94 
years, George had a keen interest in the apple 
culture, bringing in the best varieties. The 
rich fertile fields lying along the Wayah Creek 
were used for raising corn, wheat, oats and 
other crops. The acreage high in the moun- 
tains was used in the summer for grazing cat- 
tle, sheep and hogs. 

Leonidus (Lont), the youngest son and 1 6th 
child, bought the land containing the dwelling 
house from George in 1877. He enlarged the 
house which stood until 1 972. Lont increased 
his farm through purchasing tracts and by a 
land grant. This farm of 280 acres is the Craw- 
ford century farm. 

Lont's sons, Laddie and Gene, raised sever- 
al hundred hens and sold the hatching eggs to 
the Farmer's Federation during the 1 940s. At 
this time they also began a dairy which operat- 
ed until 1959. 

From 1902-1921, the Crawford School, a 
two-room public school, was located on the 
farm. Many walking trails from different 
farms led to this school. 

The Wayah Creek which runs through the 
center of the farm makes a "turn hole" which 
was used as the community "swimming 
hole." Shaded by rhododendron, mountain 
laurel, fragrant white azaleas and ferns, this 
section has remained unchanged. 

The timber on the mountain acreage has 
been protected over the years. 

Today Lonnie, Lont's grandson, uses the 
land for grazing cattle and for hay production. 
Four of Lont's sons and five grandchildren 
have homes on this farm. Submitted by Eugene 
Crawford and Elmer Crawford 


The Enloe farm on Wayah Road on Car- 
toogechaye Creek in Macon County has been 
in the family ownership for five generations, 
and a sixth generation of grandchildren lives 
there today. Ownership began in the early 
1800s when Joseph Conley (the great-great- 
grandfather of present owners) moved to 
Macon County with his First wife, Harriet 
Gibbs Conley, and obtained a land grant: the 
360 acre Enloe farm today. Joseph had been 
born in 1 807 in Burke County. He and Harri- 
et had six children, one of whom, Elizabeth 
Ann Conley married John Hester in 1873. 
They became the owners then and farmed the 
land until John Hester's death in 1910. Then 
their daughter Jessie, who was born on the 
farm in 1879, returned to the farm with her 

Jeff Enloe and family in front of their home in 1914. 


husband, Jeff H. Enloe, to care for Jessie's 
mother until her death in 1 925. Jeff and Jessie 
owned the farm until their son, Harold Enloe, 
became the owner in 1 946. 

While Joseph Conley lived, Conley School 
was built on the hill across from his home, 
probably in the 1 860's. Later when the school 
was merged with Crawford school across the 
mountain, the log structure was moved to the 
Hester backyard to serve as a smokehouse. 

While Jeff Enloe ran the farm from 1910 to 
1946, he produced most of the food for their 
family of six children. He raised livestock to 
sell. This included work mules, hogs, and 
poultry. He also sold timber and sawed lum- 
ber on the farm to build a big barn in the 1 930s 
and a new seven bedroom home in 1 940. Also 
in the 1 940s, lumber from the farm was used 
in building poultry houses for several hun- 
dred laying hens and these buildings were lat- 
er converted to a dairy operation and hay 

When Jeffs son Harold returned from 
army service in 1943, he managed the farm, 
becoming owner in 1 946. Harold's sons, Rob- 
ert and Charles, became co-owners with Har- 
old in 1976. 

Harold continued the dairy operation, sell 
ing wholesale milk first to Nantahala Cream- 
ery, and later to Pet and Sealtest dairies. This 
business was sold in 1971. Harold ran a farm 
machinery company he had begun in 1951 
until 1 965 when he and his son, Robert, began 
an asphalt paving business. This paving com- 
pany was moved to the farm in 1980, and is 
now managed by Bill Enloe, son of Jeff Enloe, 

Harold Enloe still farms the land with the 
help of his son Robert and grandsons Michael 
and Stephen. For a good many years, Harold 
raised hogs on a modest scale, selling a good 
number of them each year. There are also 
horses, donkeys and cattle and to feed them 
he grows corn, hay and other grain crops. 
Corn is also raised for silage to sell to other 
cattlemen. Along with the farm responsibili- 
ties, Robert is pastor of a local church and is 
developing a subdivision for homes. Charles 
is a veterinarian and has his practice in the 
Franklin area. 

There are four Enloe families with homes 
on the farm today: Harold, his two sons Rob- 
ert and Charles, and Bill Enloe (Jeff Enloe, 
Jrs.' son). The Conley-Hester-Enloe farm has 
been the scene for six generations of happy 
living. Submitted by Roberta Enloe Parker 


The Gibson family has owned the farm in 
Cowee Valley since 1870. George H. Gibson 
obtained two tracts by state grant and pur- 
chased other tracts for a total of 300 acres. 

From 1870 to 1929 the George H. Gibson 
Family owned necessary machinery for plant- 
ing, harvesting and processing crops of wheat, 
corn, cane, honey, fruits and vegetables. They 
used a water powered gristmill to grind corn 
and used a generator for electricity for two 
homes long before the power company fur- 
nished rural electricity. Wagon loads of wheat 
were taken to the roller mill in Franklin and 
ground into flour with plenty for a year's sup- 
ply and dividing with neighbors who needed 
flour. Cane was ground into juice, boiled into 
syrup and strained into containers for sale as 
well as home use. 

Front row, L to R: George H. Gibson, Minnie Gibson 
(daughter), Emma Owens Gibson (wife of George). 
Back row, L to R: William R. Gibson, Fred J. Gibson 
and Roy C. Gibson (sons). 

Most kinds of livestock were raised for mar- 
ket as well as home use. Sheep were sheared 
annually and wool carded by hand, spun into 
thread, colored with natural dyes and woven 
into cloth or knitted into sweaters, socks and 
caps. A smokehouse was used for curing and 
storing meat, with a cellar underneath for 
storing fruits, vegetables and canned foods. 
Milk and other foods were kept cool with 
fresh water running through a trough in the 
spring house. 

The two-story home was destroyed by fire 
in the 1940s and the present home built in 

In 1 929 George H. Gibson and wife, Emma 
Owens Gibson, divided the land and made 
deeds to their sons, William R. Gibson, Roy 
C. Gibson and Fred J. Gibson. In 1 953 Cecile 
Gibson, daughter of William R. Gibson, pur- 
chased the Roy C. Gibson tract, and in 1966 
purchased the other two tracts. Present opera- 
tions are limited to cattle raising, growing 
hay, corn and home gardens. 

Submitted by Cecile Gibson 


Solomon and Nancy Williams Leatherman 
purchased several hundred acres of land on 
the head of Huckleberry Creek, Macon Coun- 
ty around 1850. This acreage was bought 
from the state of North Carolina soon after 
"The treaty with the Cherokee Indians" and 
from Joseph Shepherd who also bought up 
large acreages from the state. They continued 
to buy acreage from different parties until 
they owned 500 acres total. 

To this union three sons were born. The 
youngest, Zachariah, inherited the property 
and raised his family of 12 children here. A 
brother William was killed in the Civil War 
and the other brother, Isaac, moved his family 
to South Carolina. 


Zacheriah and Palestine Leatherman 

Part of the land was cleared and terraced 
with rock walls, like their ancestors did in 
Germany, for pasture, fields, and orchards. 
They grew corn, oats, rye and wheat to feed 
themselves and their animals and apples for 
the market. They raised horses, mules, cattle, 
sheep, hogs and poultry. Certainly, their big- 
gest cash flow was from their apple orchards, 
although they had to haul their apples by wag- 
on to Wallhalla, South Carolina, and nearest 
railhead. A quote from "Our Families" by 
Arthur Lee Smiley: "Zachariah Leatherman, 
an ardent apple grower, developed upon the 
side of Cowee mountain, one of the finest 
apple orchards western North Carolina had 
ever known at that time." 

The property was inherited by two sons, 
Solomon and Isaac Dock who continued to 
cultivate and pasture the land. In the 1930s 
the brothers sold about 300 acres to the Nan- 
tahala National Forest. 

Around 1945 Solomon's daughter, Annie 
Dee Leatherman Smith, inherited Solomon's 
share and in 1 980 bought the remaining prop- 
erty from the remaining heirs of Isaac Dock. 
She and her husband, Walton Ramsey Smith, 
now live on the farm. 

In 1945 they started planting white pine 
and hardwood trees on land where the soil 
had eroded. The property is now known as 
Waldee Forest where the owners keep bees 
that produce sourwood, yellow poplar, and 
mountain honey; grow Fraser Fir Christmas 
trees also for the market, and where they prac- 
tice selective cutting on the hardwood forests. 

Seven generations have descended from 
the original Leathermans who settled this 
land and there is no indication that the land 
will change ownership in the future. 

Submitted by Annie Dee Leatherman Smith 


Our farm in the Nantahala Community is 
very remote and mountainous. The commu- 
nity is also completely surrounded by the U.S. 
Forest Service land. We are in the process of 
surveying. We believe the acreage will be 
between 100 and 200 acres. 

This farm has been the family base for four 
generations and produced primarily meat, 


vegetables and food for the families. Some 
monetary income came from chestnuts, 
herbs, and timber. 

Mark May was the first owner and my 
great-grandfather. He was born December 7, 
1812 in Yadkin County, North Carolina, the 
son of Fredrick and Nell May. Mark May was 
ordained a Baptist minister around 1 830, and 
he served for seventeen years in Yadkin 
County. He was also the one and only delegate 
from Macon County to sign the Constitution 
of North Carolina in 1868 which admitted 
North Carolina into the Union. 

Samuel Jefferson, the son of Mark, was my 
grandfather. Samuel Jefferson attended Pea- 
body College in Nashville, Tennessee and 
returned to this farm and became a school 
teacher, merchant, politician, and promoter 
of minerals. Samuel Jefferson May, my 
grandfather, raised two sons and five daugh- 
ters on the farm. He sent my father to law 
school at the University of North Carolina in 
Chapel Hill. He passed the bar in 1915. His 
name was Tim Ansel May. He only practiced 
law until 1919, my birth year. After giving up 
law practice, he followed the lumber industry. 

After World War II, I repaired and fenced 
all of the property and have run cattle. In 1 969 
we joined the American Angus Association 
and have all registered Angus cows and bull. 
We only have an average of 25 head (small 
herd). In the year 1 962 I became owner of the 
May farm. While running the farm, I man- 
aged to work for the N.C. Department of 
Motor Vehicles for 36 years and 9 months. I 
retired in 1 982 and have more time to devote 
to the farm. I have two sons, and one son loves 
our farm. Submitted by Jeff W. May 


The land now owned and farmed by 
Charles William Nolen and his son, Charles 
Edwin Nolen, was once inhabited by Chero- 
kee Indians. Cultivating the soil has surfaced 
pieces of broken pottery, pipes, arrowheads 
and tomahawks. The farm is approximately 
six miles west of Franklin in Macon County in 
a community known as Cartoogechaye, 
meaning "The Village Beyond." 

This is the present home of Charles W. and Glee G. 
Nolen. They have lived here since December 19, 
1931, and have raised a family of five children here. 

In 1822 William Siler came to the area from 
his family home in Buncombe County. His 
brothers, Jacob and Jesse, had been living on 
the site since 1817. Family history reports 
that William raised 500 bushels of corn the 
first year using the help of Indians in clearing 
and preparing the land. He built a house using 

logs and hand-sawed planks that was said to 
be the first two-story house and the first house 
with glass windows in this part of the country. 

The 65 acres remaining in the Nolen family 
from the original William Siler farm were 
owned next by his daughter, Caroline Siler, 
and her husband, Horace Nolen. These 
Nolens both died young, leaving small chil- 
dren to be raised on the property by Caro- 
line's sister. Mary Siler, and her husband, 
William McKee. 

The McKees began farming the land in ear- 
nest. Grain crops, such as rye, wheat, and corn 
were raised, as were fruits, including apples 
and watermelons. These crops were sold in 
Franklin, as was his beef and mutton, said to 
be of high quality due to a diet of chestnuts 
and chinquapins abundant on the land at that 
time. He also grew a large garden of cultivated 
ginseng, a perennial herb raised for the roots 
which were dried and shipped to China for 
use in medicines. This valuable plant was 
grown in a fenced enclosure with a brush 
arbor to provide necessary shade. 

One of the Nolen boys raised by the McK- 
ees, Frank, married Jennie Moore, a grand- 
daughter of the original owner's (William 
Siler's) sister, Margaret, Frank and Jennie 
lived in a house on the property and opened a 
general store. Apples grown in an orchard on 
the farm were sold in the store and also 
shipped to Atlanta, Georgia, in homemade 
wooden crates. One variety was known as 
"Bald Mountain," grafted from a tree found 
on a nearby mountain named Wayah Bald. 
Frank Nolen also raised hogs, selling fresh 
meat and cured hams in his store. 

Charles William Nolen, oldest son of Frank 
and Jennie Nolen, has lived on the farm all his 
life. He has used the land to grow wheat, corn, 
hogs, turnips, beef cattle and apples. His 
orchards grow several varieties including the 
"Nolen' apple, grafted from a seedling found 
on the property. Always interested in innova- 
tive technology, Charles was the first farmer 
in the area to own a combine and a tractor 
with rubber tires. His home was powered with 
electricity generated from a water wheel on 
the nearby McKee Creek, long before electric- 
ity was available to the community. 

Charles Edwin Nolen, oldest son of Charles 
and Glee Nolen, also currently lives on the 
farm, as does his oldest son, Chuck, the sixth 
generation since William Siler. Edwin pres- 
ently raises a small herd of beef cattle, mostly 
sold as feeder calves. The 1 940 Case tractor is 
still used in producing hay and spraying the 
apple trees which are now only for family 
enjoyment. In recent years the land has been 
used to raise sunflowers, green peppers and 
Christmas trees for commercial gain. Edwin 
and Chuck are electrical contractors, as was 
Charles before retirement. 

Macon County soil is known for producing 
gemstones and the Nolen farm is no excep- 
tion. Many family members wear jewelry con- 
taining corundum or sapphires found on the 
property. Each family also has a clock or other 
furniture made by Charles from walnut lum- 
ber cut on the land. 

The farm has served the Silers and Nolens 
abundantly through the years, providing 
necessities such as food, water and shelter, as 
well as pleasures, including wildlife, gem- 
stones and wildflowers. 

Submitted by Charles W. Nolen 


Macon — Madison 


George and Mary Ann McDonell Patton 
came from Buncombe to Macon, then Hay- 
wood County about 1823. A deed dated 
November 1822 notes that George Patton 
bought 1 84.5 acres for $276.76 "being part of 
the land lately acquired by treaty from the 
Cherokee Indians and sold in obedience to an 
act of the General Assembly of this state . . ." 
On this land George built a two-story log 
house and eventually, with land grants and by 
buying other tracts of land, he owned most of 
the valley. This beautiful tract of land of 
approximately one square mile is known 
today as Patton Valley. Shaped like a bowl, 
the rich fertile land lies on the banks of the 
Cartoogechaye Creek. 

The Erwin Patton home on Patton farm. Franklin, 

Andrew Jackson Patton, son of George and 
Mary Ann, was a lawyer and farmer. 
Andrew's holding of 1 600 acres as listed in the 
1 850 census was divided among his children. 
Andrew's sons, Erwin, George, Lawrence and 
Thad were farmers and livestock traders. 
Known as "the Patton brothers" they carried 
on an extensive trade in horses, mules and 
cattle which they shipped to the markets in 
Atlanta, Athens and to the cotton farmers in 
southern Georgia. 

About 1895 Erwin Patton replaced the log 
house of his father and grandfather with a 
modern white frame dwelling, now owned by 
his grandson, Sam Kelly Greenwood, a fifth 
generation member of the family. 

When Erwin Patton died in 1919, his wid- 
ow, Malva Roane Patton was left with six chil- 
dren, ages 6 to 16. With the help of her chil- 
dren, especially her sons, Paul and Erwin, she 
kept the farm going. It is to her credit that the 
Erwin Patton farm is the only parcel of land 
acquired originally by George Patton that has 
remained in the Patton name since 1822. 

Submitted by Nancy Patton Greenwood 
and Erwin Patton 


The Marcus Asbury Raby homeplace, now 
owned by the John F. Raby family, was built 
in 1876 and it still stands today as a family 
dwelling. The kitchen has hand hewn beams 
that are still as they were when the house was 

The farm was used to raise corn, wheat, 
potatoes, and most everything that was used 
at home to feed the family and the livestock. 
The farm's location is in Cowee Valley, 
Macon County. Mason mountain rises to the 

back of it with the valley in front. There is a 
creek that goes through the valley with springs 
and streams feeding into it. The spring that 
always furnished water to the house is still 
overflowing today after 1 12 years. There is a 
smokehouse near the back door, and up near 
a bank of dirt there is a food cellar that is used 
to store potatoes and apples and canned food 
to keep them from freezing. 

Marcus Asbury Raby was the grandfather 
of John Fredrick Raby. He was born Septem- 
ber 2, 1835, and Narcissa Teresa Shepherd 
was born April 16, 1842. They were married 
August 16, 1863. To this union were born 12 
children. The children lived on the farm until 
they were ready to go out on their own. The 
land was divided up. The homeplace and 
some mountain land, meadow and two gar- 
den spots are still maintained. The land has 
been cared for with good management. The 
ASCS has assisted with tree planting and oth- 
er help. Throughout the years, blackberries, 
walnuts and firewood have been gathered 
from the mountains. 

There are three children (two daughters 
and one son). The farm will stay in the family. 
Submitted by Evelyn M. Raby, Gwendolyn Sue 

Raby Mansini, Barbara Jean Raby Nelson, John 
Fredrick Raby, III 


On January 18, 1828 Thomas Shepherd Sr. 
was given North Carolina land grant number 
99 when for $174 he purchased 1 16 acres of 
land "being in the county of Haywood, sec- 
tion number 22 in district number 1 0, it being 
a part of the land lately acquired by treaty 
from the Cherokee Indians." Thomas Shep- 
herd Sr. had been the fourth white man to set- 
tle among the Cherokee Indians in what is 
now known as the Cowee Valley in the north- 
ern section of Macon County. His first hold- 
ings adjoined Cowee Creek and he added to 
them until he owned vast acreage in the val- 

In 1842 Thomas Sr. and Nancy Staunton 
Shepherd deeded land to Thomas Jr. and Nar- 
cissa Welch Shepherd, whose daughter and 
son-in-law, James and Emmeline Shepherd 
Bryson became landowners in 1856. In 1861 
James set a row of small cedars near the 
mouth of a cove and in 1863 erected a two- 
story house behind them. Near the house were 
slave houses and a small dwelling where a 
freed slave family lived after the Civil War. 

Thomas Clingman and Eva Israel Bryson 
later owned the house and land, then their 
son, James Carr, and Frances Rickman Bry- 
son spent over 50 years of marriage here. Dur- 
ing the Great Depression the land provided 
all the food for their family and only sugar and 
coffee had to be bought. The house, along 
with two cedar trees, still stands and is occu- 
pied by Frances Bryson. 

Part of the land Thomas Shepherd Sr. pur- 
chased in 1828 is still owned by his descen- 
dants, James H. and Frankabelle Gibson 
Scruggs, Ronald H. Bryson, J. Garland and 
Sue Bryson Willis and Raymond H. and Betty 
Bryson Womack. The land is used for diversi- 
fied farming with cattle, hay, corn, tobacco, 
sorghum cane and garden crops being grown. 

Submitted by Betty B. Womack 

Madison County 


My grandfather, Issac Newton Ebbs, was 
one of 1 2 children, born in Long Creek, Ten- 
nessee — moved to Roaring Fork section of 
Madison County early in the 1800s and was 
an attorney, farmer, surveyor, and a one- 
room-school teacher. 

At an early age he surveyed for "The 
Gudgers" a very prominent family in western 
North Carolina at that time who owned lots of 
land and paid my grandfather with parcels of 

Grandfather Ebbs found this farm of 210 
acres, bought it, and loved it enough to build 
a nine room house — reared four boys and 
five girls. He also had tenants on the farm. 
They raised hogs, cattle, horses, corn, wheat, 
and flue-cured tobacco. They also had a saw- 

My grandmother, Iowa Balding Ebbs, died 
in 1 898, and Issac Newton died in 1 909. After 
his death the farm was leased for a few years. 
My father, Edward Boyken Ebbs, who was a 
streetcar conductor in Knoxville, Tennessee, 
came back to the farm in 1914 — married 
Hattie Duckett of Spring Creek — reared 
three girls and four boys. My father had his 
brother Horace divide the farm into two par- 
cels. Dad's was 2 1 acres and Horace's was 75 
acres which he later sold. 

My father farmed for years. He later built a 
general merchandise store below the house. 
Then in the early 1930s a new road was built 


Madison — Martin 

A view of the Ebbs farm in Hot Springs, N.C. 

so he moved into a new building near the 
highway and operated it until his death in 
1958. When my husband. Homer Plemmons, 
got out of military service in 1 946, we moved 
back to the farm and lived with my dad and 
mother. Homer loved the farm so much that 
we raised cattle, hogs, tobacco, corn and trel- 
lis tomatoes until his death in 1 982. 

David, our son, is the fourth generation of 
the Issac Newton Ebbs. David and his wife, 
Cathy, gave me a grandson in September 
1986. Daniel James Plemmons is now the 
fifth generation. 

My greatest desire is that the farm will be 
"The Ebbs Farm" for many more years. 

Submitted by Mrs. Ruby E. Plemmons 


Philadelphian Amos Stackhouse had done 
much traveling in his lifetime before coming 
to Hot Springs at the age of 65. 

The Stackhouse home on the French Broad River in 
Madison County. 

He married three times, but his third wife is 
most pertinent to Madison County history. 
This third wife was not a healthy woman, so 
the family moved from Ohio, where they were 
living, to Florida. 

Florida brought no improvement to Mrs. 
Stackhouse's health and the family came to 
Hot Springs (then called Warm Springs), hop- 
ing the waters there would aid in returning her 
to good health. 

The Stackhouses made this trip during the 
post Civil War period. Madison County was 
very isolated at that time, but not so isolated 
that mail did not run. Amos Stackhouse 
became postmaster in Warm Springs, just as 
he was in Pickway, Ohio. 

Stackhouse was a great walker. This is how 
in 1 866 he discovered the area that now bears 
his name, an area which was the virgin tim- 
ber, a total of 620 acres. 

Stackhouse hired 25 blacks to clear the tim- 
ber, for he had decided to carve a town out of 
this forest. 

The old Buncombe turnpike ran beside this 
property alongside the river and Stackhouse 
decided it was a good place to put up a general 
store. This general store had two rooms in 
which he lived until the first Stackhouse home 
was built. 

This general store was part of his plan to 
carve out a town along the river. He also put 
in a sawmill and a train depot. 

The first Stackhouse home, which was 
located near the present home, burned in the 
1920s. This house came complete with a 
secret escape passage in case of Indian attack. 

The general store flourished with the busi- 
ness of drovers who came along the turnpike 
with fowl and animals for market. Stackhouse 
had three large pens for herds and sold a little 
of everything to these drovers. 

In 1 880 the railroad came along the path of 
the turnpike. The railroad company prom- 
ised to build another road but never did. 

Stackhouse became a community on the 
map. Goods then came by railroad and Amos 
Stackhouse was also the postmaster of the 

By this time with the sawmill, general store 
and the sawmill in Runion (just down the riv- 
er) approximately 1,500 people lived in the 
area, although approximately 50 lived right at 

The turn of the century saw even more 
change with the addition of the Carolina Bar- 
ite Co. in 1904 which mined on the property 
for barite, a substance used in oil drillings. 
The mines were deep, some reaching 400 feet. 

Also at the turn of the century the current 
Stackhouse home was built. Taking a carpen- 
ter and his helper four years, it was completed 
in 1904. 

The hillside itself upon which the house 
rests took 1 8 years to dig off with shovels and 

Amos Stackhouse lived to be 99 years old 
but the community he began slowly died. The 
general store, depot and mine are gone as well 
as the sawmill, which was washed away in the 
great flood of 1916. 

In Runion the lumber mill closed in 1927, 
and with its closing most of the population of 
the area left. 

What is left now is a beautiful old house on 
a hill overlooking the river and a panoramic 
view of the county. With that house remains 
a history of Madison County that should not 
be forgotten. (Taken in part from an article by 
Margaret A. Studenc). 

Submitted by Gilbert Stackhouse 

Martin County 


On record is M.G. Cratt received land in 
1882. Then it was deeded to Sophia Cratt in 
1920 by death of M.G. Cratt. In 1926 J.M. 
Cratt received land at the death of his mother, 
Sophia Cratt. J.M. Cratt deeded the land to 
Rue M. Cratt in 1940. At Rue M. Cratt's 
death in 1 978, King E. Cratt bought the rest of 
the children out. In 1987 King E. Cratt died 
and it was left by will to his wife, Annie H. 

Charlie Grimes Forbes and wife, Harriet Mae 
Brown Forbes. 

Tobacco, peanuts, corn, beans, cotton were 
raised on the farm, along with hogs and cattle. 
The same crops are raised today except for 
cotton. The house is still standing except for 
the kitchen part that was separated from the 
rest of the house. Two stick tobacco barns 
remain intact. Submitted by Annie H. Cratt 


The Grimes farm has been in the Grimes 
family since 1 797. This spans six generations. 
From the beginning they have been very pro- 
gressive farmers, producing just about all the 
food and fiber used by their families. They 
grew hogs, chickens, cows, vegetables, pota- 
toes, corn and fruits. Later peanuts, soybeans, 
cotton and tobacco were added, and they 
became well known for the flue-cured tobacco 
that they produced. 

Thomas Grimes, who married Chloe Lle- 
wellyn in 1761, was the first Grimes to own 
this farm. He was born in 1738 to James 
Grimes and wife Mary. He had six brothers 
and sisters. Mary, one of his sisters, married 
General Kidder Meade. Chloe Llewellyn was 
born in 1747 to John William Llewellyn and 
Frances Llewellyn. 

Thomas Grimes inherited the entire plan- 
tation that his father owned on the western 
branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk 
County, Virginia. In 1761 he sold it and 
moved to Edgecombe County. 

Chloe Llewellyn's mother, Frances, sold a 
large plantation left to her by her husband, 
John, beside the Elizabeth River in Norfolk 
County, Virginia. She then took her daughter 
Chloe, and son John, (the notorious N.C. 
Tory Rebel), and moved to Tyrell County 
buying a large plantation there. 

In 1774 Martin County was carved out of 
Tyrell and Edgecombe Counties. During this 
period, Thomas Grimes purchased about 
5000 acres in this area. In 1 797 he purchased 


200 acres from Hugh Ross in the Flatte 
Swamp area for $900. Thomas Grimes died 
on May 8, 1797. He left to his son, Thomas 
Grimes II, this farm with buildings, which 
included a dwelling house, and 230 acres of 
other farmlands. Thomas Grimes II married 
Harriet Curry. 

Thomas Grimes II died without a will in 
1837. According to Book L. Martin County 
register of deeds page 81 and 82, the Martin 
County Board of Commissioners ordered his 
estate to be settled. They left to his son, Wil- 
liam Grimes II, lot #6 and this lot included the 
Grimes farm. 

William Grimes II was born March 28, 
1813, and on January 20, 1 845 married Sarah 
(Sally) Rogers. He fought in the Civil War 
with the 59th Regiment, N.C. Infantry; died 
on November 30, 1 902 without a will. His six 
living descendants settled his estate. The farm 
as it is now given to Stephen Llewellyn 
Grimes, his son. 

Stephen Llewellyn Grimes was born on 
October 12, 1858 and died on April 2, 1928. 
Susan, his wife, died on June 28, 1930. At 
their death, the eight living relatives settled 
the estate. My mother, Fannie Mae Grimes 
Forbes Cherry, a daughter, A. Daniel Cherry, 
her husband, and Samuel Harcom Grimes, a 
son, received the Grimes farm. 

After the death of my step-father in 1959, 
my mother in 1971, and Samuel Harcom 
Grimes in 1985, I purchased one-half of the 
farm from the heirs of Samuel Harcom 
Grimes and two-twelfths from A. Daniel 
Cherry's heirs. I acquired one-twelfth from A. 
Daniel Cherry's will, and one-fourth from the 
will of my mother, Fannie Mae Grimes For- 
bes Cherry. 

So now at the present time, I, Charlie 
Grimes Forbes the sixth generation from 
Thomas Grimes own 100% of the Grimes 
farm. I was born October 13, 1914 and on 
December 20, 1936 married Harriet Mae 
Brown. She was born March 7, 1915. I have 
two children, Carolyn B. Forbes Fisher and 
Charles Edward Forbes. 

Submitted by Charlie Grimes Forbes 


Harris homeplace, 200 years old, has the 
original thatched wood shingles on the tops of 
the entire structure. Crimp tin was added lat- 
er. In 1 953 the kitchen quarters were removed 
from the house to a location 200 feet to the 
right in back of the house for a shelter and 
barn. The old screened porch with the addi- 
tion of windows and a door made a cozy den. 
A bath was a great addition. Knotty pine pan- 
eling was put in the three back rooms. The 
front three rooms have the original wains- 
coating and plastered walls; paint and wallpa- 
per were added in 1970 as were storm win- 
dows. Upstairs the old ceiling and woodwork 
still look great. Some of the original furniture 
is still in the Harris house. Clay Winfield Har- 
ris and his wife, Janie Rogerson Harris, have 
been living here since 1 960. Their only daugh- 
ter, Nannette Harris, was born in 1964. She 
still resides at the home. 

Clay Winfield Harris is the registered own- 
er of 350 century farm acres. This was land 
inherited through four generations of Harris 
relatives. Great-grandparents, Asa and Mary- 
ann Harris; grandparents, Robert and Alice 
Harris; parents, Garland and Estelle Harris; 


The barn on the right was part of the Harris house befo 

and uncle, Luther Harris' inheritance, is how 
all this came into being Clay's farmland. In 
1 945 Clay's father died. Clay started farming 
early in life. Uncle Luther stepped in helping 
him in every way, and he became a good far- 
mer. He bought 100 acres of this farmland 
from his brothers and sisters in 1960. Later, 
uncle Luther passed away in 1 984 leaving 250 
acres and the Harris house with the provi- 
sions that Clay pay each of his brothers and 
sisters an amount of money. This Clay did 
and we are trying to live and maintain the 
farmland and keep it in the Harris name. 

This farmland was a 750 acre tract of land 
located in the southeastern part of Martin 
County. It is bordered on one side by Bear 
Grass Swamp and on the other side by the 
Beaufort County line. It was divided through 
the years to son and daughters alike. Some 
sold their interest to others within the family. 
Clay's younger brother, Albert Garland Har- 
ris, owns 50 acres and his first cousin, Walter 
Elliott Harris, owns 1 50 acres and around 1 00 
acres were sold outside the Harris name. 

Submitted by Janie Rogerson Harris 


Since 1806 six generations of Harrisons 
have been landowners and farmers in Bear 
Grass Township of Martin County. King 
Harrison first purchased 194.5 acres of land 
south and west of what is now Bear Grass, 
bordering on Bear Grass Swamp. His son, 
John Harrison, also owned 200 acres in the 
same general area in 1838. 

re 1 953. It was the kitchen, pantry and cook 's quarters. 

In January 1 844 Redmond Harrison, son of 
John Harrison, bought two tracts of land from 
his father-in-law, Jesse Mizell. One tract con- 
tained 75 acres and the other 120 acres. He 
acquired several more acres of land in the 
same area, bordered on the north by Bee Tree 
Branch and on the west by Turkey Swamp. 

In 1874 Redmond gave a 5 5 acre tract of the 
same land he bought in 1 844, to his son, Reu- 
bin Harrison. This particular tract is the cen- 
tury farm land. After Redmond's death in 
1 885, there were 360 acres divided among his 
three sons and three daughters. State Road 
1 109 is partially bordered on each side with 
original Harrison land. In 1887 this road was 
called the path. In 1 9 1 it was called the Har- 
rison Road with Redmond's children and 
grandchildren living there. Today this land is 
owned and farmed by his descendants. 

The century farm land tract is known as the 
Reubin Harrison homeplace. He died in 
1907, and his widow, Mary Ann, was cared 
for by her youngest son, G.A. Harrison until 
her death in 1 928. In 1910 G.A. became own- 
er of this tract and after his death in 1 947, his 
son C.B., and daughter Bessie, continued to 
farm. In 1986 Bessie Harrison Savage and 
husband, Lee Savage bought out the late 
brother's heirs. It is still being used for general 
farming. The crops grown yearly are tobacco, 
corn, peanuts, and soybeans. 

Submitted by Bessie Harrison Savage 


Martin County records trace the Harrison 
farm to James Harrison with a family of three. 
James willed his land to two sons. Davis Biggs 
Harrison is the ancestor traced to the present 

The Reubin Harrison homeplace, Williamston, 

The Harrison homeplace. 


Davis (born 1 806) was a farmer in the Bear 
Grass Township. The 1 850 census lists Davis 
with $500 in real estate; in 1 860 $2,400 in real 
estate and $4,000 in personal property; in 
1 870 $ 1 000 in real estate and $500 in person- 
al property. Davis had 15 children — five 
sons, all who served during the Civil War. His 
will, probated November 11, 1886, will the 
land in part to a son, Cushing Biggs Harrison. 

Cushing was born on this farm in 1 843. Pap 
Cush had 1 4 children. His only daughter, Del- 
la Ann (born April 12, 1887), married Jesse 
Dupree Green. Delia returned to the home of 
her father, and after the death of her mother, 
she filled the role of mother to her younger 
brothers along with her two children. During 
this period the farm was self-sufficient, grow- 
ing tobacco, cotton, edible crops and live- 
stock. Cotton was woven into material and 
made into bed sheets, and the sheep's wool 
was woven into material and used in making 
clothes. Pap Cush left the homeplace to Delia 
for her lifetime, then to her children. Pap 
Cushing is buried in the cemetery on the farm. 

N. Cortez Green (born March 9, 1 899) was 
reared on the farm. He and his mother, Delia, 
were the last family members to live on the 
farm. Today the homeplace and 25 acres are 
jointly owned by Green and his daughter, Syl- 
via Green Smith — sixth generation land- 
owner. The farm continues to be a working 
farm with tobacco and soybeans as the main 
crops. The 100 surrounding acres are owned 
by four Harrison heirs with Green owning 
one-fourth. Submitted by N.C. Green 


The Holliday farm, as I know it, began in 
1750 when the first Holliday came from 
England and settled in Martin County in the 
small town of Jamestown. It was later 
changed to Jamesville. It is located on the 
banks of the Roanoke River which played a 
large part in the people settling there. The fish 
were abundant in the river. Also found were 
deer, raccoons, ducks, birds and other wildlife 
for eating and for selling the hides. Timber 
was cut floated down the river to larger towns 
with mills. Our farm is located two miles from 

The Holliday farm decorated for the holidays. 

My grandfather, Brightman Nicholson 
Holliday, was born in 1854 and lived here 
until his death. His wife was Laura Thomas 
Davis, a neighborhood girl. They had four 
children: Roland, Annie, Thomas Wrighten 
(my father) and Gertrude. After the death of 
his wife, he left the homeplace in his grand- 
mother's hands and went to Tillery to work in 
a sawmill. There he met and in due time mar- 
ried Cora Cook who lived there. They had one 

child, Albert Nicholson, born in 1900. He is 
now living in Roanoke, Virginia with his wife 

In 1915 Thomas married Nona McLean, a 
school teacher from Rowland who came to 
teach in the little country school known as 
Poplar Chapel. They had six children: Thom- 
as Wrighten, Jr., Margaret McLean, Eliza- 
beth, Frank Nicholson (deceased), Leon Ried 
(deceased) and Barbara. All four of the chil- 
dren living are married and have families of 
their own. Thomas Jr. married a girl from Syr- 
acuse, New York while serving his country 
during World War II. Dad hoped he would 
return to the farm when he retired from ser- 
vice. That was not to be. He settled in Syra- 
cuse and lived there 25 years and then moved 
to St. Petersburg, Florida. Margaret married 
Ralph Brown Holliday (no relation), and I 
married John Robert Coltrain while he was in 
the service. We live on the Holliday farm. 
Barbara, the youngest, married John Hagen, 
a marine from Clinton, Iowa. They also live 
on this farm. We have two sons, married with 
families. Neither of our boys live on the farm, 
but we hope eventually one of them will 

My dad, Thomas, was an able farmer. He 
raised such crops as cotton, corn, peanuts, 
tobacco, soybeans, tomatoes, cucumbers and 
grain crops, rye, oats, etc. He also had hogs; 
chickens, milk cows and a goat or two. Besides 
farming, he did many other jobs. He was a 
mail carrier using the first motorcycle in the 
county to go around his route on dirt roads 
with footways built over the streams. He also 
tried inventing machinery to help farmers. He 
got a U.S. patent on a stock pickup used to 
haul peanuts to the picker which was much 
quicker than mules and carts or wagons. 

When I was little, we had four tenant fami- 
lies on the farm making a living. My husband 
now tends the farm himself. Acres have been 
cut until now we tend six acres of tobacco, but 
from 28 acres; peanuts cut to ten acres; cotton 
has disappeared almost entirely. Dad was the 
first to raise hybrid corn, working with the 
N.C. State experiment station in Raleigh. He 
sold seed corn which he raised over all the 
eastern corn growing counties. 

My mom died in 1967. Dad died in 1976. 
He went in the hospital on his 90th birthday. 
My husband and I remodeled his home and 
moved from our home into his. We are still 
here farming his Holliday land and enjoying 
the quiet country home life. We hope one of 
our boys will one day return to the farm. 

Submitted by Elizabeth Holliday Coltrain 


The story of the Martin farm began in 1863 
when Emily Woolard Martin became the 
owner of the 40 acre farm located on the Mar- 
tin and Beaufort County line near Bear Grass. 
Her husband, John Wheeler Martin, lost his 
life in the Civil War. Emily and her son, 
Lewellyn Amphus, when he became old 
enough, tended the farm. They raised peanuts 
and corn, and had cows that roamed the 
woods for food. The farm also had a brick 
yard and bricks were made there. Later on 
they started tending a little tobacco on the 
farm and eventually built their own tobacco 
barn which had a wood furnace. 

Lewellyn married Frances Jolly and they 
moved to a nearby farm. Emily continued to 

Simon Arthur Martin on Father's Dav in the 

live at the homeplace and Lewellyn still 
helped her farm. They had a nice grapevine 
and pear, pecan, peach and apple trees, and a 
garden with a strawberry bed. 

Emily passed away in December 1922 at 
the age of 84. Lewellyn died the year before 
with cancer. Emily left the farm to her grand- 
son, Simon Arthur, who moved there with his 
mother Frances and his youngest sister, Min- 
nie. Arthur continued to tend the farm. Fran- 
ces died in 1936 after being sick for a few 
years. In 1938, at the age of 40, Arthur mar- 
ried Mary Emma Rogerson. They had a still- 
born son in 1 94 1 , and in 1 944 had twin girls, 
Ellen Sue and Betty Lou, and five more 
daughters followed. His twins were the first of 
his daughters to help him on the farm when 
they were old enough, and he even let them 
plow a little with the mule. He raised hogs, 
too. They had a big garden and Mary canned 
food for the winter. By then he was tending a 
few acres of tobacco. He employed a black 
family in the neighborhood to help him put it 
in. Arthur worked very hard to provide for his 
family, but developed pernicious anemia and 
this caused a temporary setback. When he was 
about 70 years old, his tobacco barn burned 
and his mule died. He rented his tobacco after 
that, and neighbors with tractors helped him. 
He again started raising hogs. 

After his death in 1 980, his twins, Ellen and 
Betty, and their husbands bought the farm 
and continued to rent the crops. It was their 
wish that the farm stay in the family because 
their dad had worked so hard to keep it all 
these years. At the present time, Betty and her 
husband, Berry Warren live on the farm and 
enjoy it. They tend a garden and the farm is 
rented to a neighbor. 

Submitted by Betty M. Warren 


In 1 787 John Peal started six generations of 
farmers in Martin County. He settled at the 
head of Little Creek which divides Bear Grass 
and Griffins Township. Our present home 
was built in 1 886 on a three acre tract on the 
Bear Grass side while our farmland is in Grif- 
fins Township. 

In 1 830 John Peal willed John Peal, Jr. the 
land he lived on and adjoining lands. 


- If If- JJ 

The John Robert "Bob" Peele family. 

In 1 849 a court ordered settlement of the 
John Peal, Jr. estate gave Robert H. Peal, a 
son, the homeplace. 

In 1 860 Robert H. Peal married Mary Jane 
Rogerson. He was killed in the Civil War leav- 
ing two sons, Edwin Slade Peal and John Rob- 
ert "Bob" Peal (born 1 862). The sons inherit- 
ed his Griffins Township estate. 

In 1881 Bob and Slade Peal bought 117 
acres on the west side of Little Creek in Bear 
Grass Township. 

In 1895 Slade and Bob Peal divided their 

In 1886 Bob Peal built his home. He mar- 
ried Susan Florence Manning. 

In 1914 Bob Peele willed his wife five acres 
in Bear Grass Township and 208 acres in 
Griffins Township. At her death or marriage, 
his real estate and property went to their son, 
Heman Ulysses Peele. Bob and Florence were 
buried on the farm. 

In 1 925 Heman Peele married Sarah Brown 
Leggett. They had two daughters, Sybil 
Brown Peele and Polly Rachel Peele. 

In 1 868 Heman Peele died leaving the farm 
to his wife. 

In 1945 Sybil Peele married Rufus S. Gur- 
ganus, also a descendant of John Peal, Sr. 
They live in the century home and farm the 
century land. 

In 1978 Rufus and Sybil Peele Gurganus 
purchased the John Robert Peele homeplace 
and farm from her mother. 

Plans are for son, Kenneth, and grand- 
daughter, Sarah Gurganus, to continue the 
Peele saga. 

Submitted by Rufus S. and Sybil P. Gurganus 


John Smallwood Whitley inherited the 
family farm, the original land grant from King 
George II of England ( 1 742) and is currently 
farming this tract of land. It is one of the old- 
est land grants in the state of North Carolina 
to have remained in the same family since the 
original was made. 

Samuel Biggs Whitley, second son of John 
Smallwood Whitley and wife, Deborah Harri- 
son Whitley, and son Samuel Grant Whitley 
now live in the ancestral home that was built 
by Samuel Wheatley III in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. The Wheatley-Whitley genealogy is 
recorded in "Some Colonial and Revolution- 
ary Families of North Carolina Volume II" by 
Marilu Burch Smallwood. 

Submitted by J. Whitley 

Martin — McDowell 

McDowell County 


Daniel R. Brown migrated to western 
North Carolina form Orange County in the 
early 1800s. In 1806 he purchased from 
Joseph Wilson for the sum of $290, 300 acres 
of land in the Ashford section of northern 
McDowell (then Burke) County. The land, 
situated in a broad valley or "cove" framed by 
Linville and Honeycutt mountains, was well- 
suited for general purpose farming. A large 
variety of crops and livestock could be raised 
such that a high degree of self-sufficiency was 
possible. This pattern of general farming on 
the Brown land has continued with only 
minor variations to the present. 

Henrv S. Brown home on the Brown century farm in 
Northern McDowell County. Home built in 1916. 

Daniel R., his son Samuel and his grandson 
John Seawell, farmed the land until the 1 860s 
with work being performed by family mem- 
bers as well as by slaves. During the pre-Civil 
War period additional lands were acquired 
and a large barn of post-and-beam construc- 
tion as well as several log outbuildings were 
erected. The barn and two of the log outbuild- 
ings from that era have survived to the pres- 

Following the Civil War John Seawell 
became active in politics and served terms in 
both the North Carolina House and Senate. 
The farm was managed by his son Romulus 
Walter, a Confederate Cavalry veteran. Rom- 
ulus maintained some 200 acres in cultiva- 
tion during the 1870s and 1880s with work 
performed by family members and hired 
hands, several of whom were former slaves. 
Romulus built a water-powered "roller mill" 
on the property to grind corn and wheat for 
his family and neighbors. He also built and 
operated a licensed distillery until the early 

In 1889 Henry Seawell, who had earlier 
attended Davis Military Academy in Wins- 
ton-Salem, acquired the farm from his father, 
Romulus, and worked to improve its efficien- 
cy and productivity. He invested in such 
items as a reaper and thrashing machine and 
in 1 908 rebuilt the roller mill, the earlier one 
having burned. He also installed saw and 
planer mills and added steam power. A well- 
equipped blacksmith shop was a vital part of 
the operation. Both the mills and blacksmith 
shop were destroyed in the 1916 flood. None- 
theless, during the first half of the 20th centu- 
ry, Henry Seawell and his family continued to 
mechanize the farm and to experiment with 
the new breeds of livestock and strains of 
plants while enjoying considerable self- 

In 1 949 the farm passed to Henry Seawell's 
heirs, several of whom still live on the proper- 
ty. One of the sons, Romulus Jahue, lives on 
and manages a large part of the farm for cattle 
and the production of such items as hay, soy- 
beans, corn, shrubbery, vegetables and fruits. 
About 50 acres of the farm containing the old 
homeplace with its pre-Civil War outbuild- 
ings, some of the turn of the century vintage 
machinery and most of the family records are 
now in the possession of Henry S. Brown, pro- 
fessor of geology at North Carolina State Uni- 
versity and son of Romulus Jahue. 

Submitted by Henry S. and Wilda E. Brown 


The English farm, Sunnalee, is in the Ash- 
ford Community of McDowell County. It has 
remained in the English family since Gabriel 
English and his brothers left Ireland for Mary- 
land and then to North Carolina in the 1 830s. 

The current English home built in 1880. 

Gabriel and his brother, William, original- 
ly owned 1000 acres of what is now the upper 
end of the North Cove Township. The present 
owner, William Garvel English, has a receipt 
dated 1838 showing Gabriel's purchase of 
100 acres of land for $5. 

At present, seventeen different families 
and four summer residents live on the origi- 
nal property. Although much of the farm has 
returned to forest and pasture, the English 
family still owns 418 acres. 

The current English home was built in 1 880 
by Jehu, and is occupied by his grandson, Wil- 
liam Garvel. Adjacent to the home is the log 
kitchen built in 1830. 

The oldest date in the family cemetery 
shows 1 773 as the birthdate of Henry English. 
There are older graves than his; those of the 
Askews and Onstodtts, earlier settlers, whose 
graves are marked by flat rocks stacked upon 

The first three generations of Englishes, 
Henry, Gabriel, and Jehu, were farmers. The 
fourth generation, Romulus, owned a general 
merchandise store. William Garvel, the fifth 
generation, added a herd of purebred Jersey 
cattle to the farm and sold cream. During 
World War II he changed to Holstein cattle 
and had a Grade A dairy. Rom, the sixth gen- 
eration, continued the dairy business until 
1 985. Rom's three children, the seventh gen- 
eration, insist that the farm will remain in the 
English family. 

Submitted by William Garvel English 



Soon after the Revolutionary War, James 
Greenlee of Burke County bought an exten- 
sive tract of land along the Catawba River in 
what is now McDowell County, and settled 
his son, David Washington, on it. David was 
a sheep and cattle herder as well as an inn- 
keeper. His home, a stagecoach stop known as 
"The Double Diamond Inn" was a landmark 
in the community until it burned in the mid 
1970s. His estate was called "The Glades." 

Home of William Harvey Greenlee IV, built by his 
brother, Robert L. Greenlee in 1892. It is the present 
home of Ruth and Nina Greenlee. 

The home of David's son, Thomas Young 
Greenlee, constructed of logs, stands on a hill 
overlooking "The Glades." Farmlands sur- 
rounding it diminished in number of acres 
because of the divisions among children, still 
remain in the family. Thomas built a small 
lake on the branch that runs through the prop- 
erty and kept it well stocked with fish. The 
lake was restored and enlarged a few years ago 
and fish abound in its depths again. The log 
smokehouse still stands. 

Succeeding generations have built on the 
portions of land they inherited. What is now 
the Greenlee farm, approximately 400 acres 
of farm and woodland belong to the descen- 
dants of William Harvey Greenlee, the son of 
Thomas Y. Greenlee. Wide stretches of 
growth along the banks of the bordering 
streams have protected the farmland from 
erosion by floods. Although a large, fine 
wheat crop was carried away in the deluge of 
1916, the topsoil remained. 

Wheat, corn, oats, soybeans and other grain 
have been grown on the land ever since it has 
been under cultivation. It is presently being 
leased by a progressive farmer who has grown 
many crops that have broken records for the 
number of bushels per acre, and has attracted 
the attention of other farmers. 

Submitted by Ruth M. Greenlee 


Called Conasoga by the Cherokees, the 
North Cove Valley in McDowell County is 
the setting for the McCall farm. Bounded in 
part by the North Fork of the Catawba River 
and Honeycutt Creek, with a view of Hawks- 
bill mountain to the east and Mount Mitchell 
to the west, our 200 acre crop and woodlands 
farm was a portion of lands purchased in 1 846 
by Robert and Lydia Gillespie McCall. 

Their only child William Aiken, and his 
wife, Katherine M. McCall, inherited and 
acquired extensive acreage around their 

McDowell — Mecklenburg 

North Cove home after their marriage in 
1 839. Their son William, and Catherine Con- 
ley McCall established their homestead on 
our portion in 1871. Our father, Charles A., 
son of William and Catherine, and his wife, 
Lela Marlowe, continued the ownership until 
his three children, Clara R. McCall, Alvin G. 
McCall and Alma McCall Childers became 
the present owners. 

Submitted by Clara R. McCall 


The Morris homestead located in the Sugar 
Hill section of McDowell County began on 
July 8, 1 788, when William Morris purchased 
10 acres from Thomas Raybon for the sum of 
50 pounds. Of course, the farm was then locat- 
ed in Burke County as McDowell County's 
formation was some 54 years in the future. 
One-half pound per acre seems to be the 
approximate rate for property in those days, 
for in 1801 William added 331 acres to his 
property paying 1 50 pounds. Over the next 34 
years William made four more property 
acquisitions, including a 40 acre grant from 
the state of North Carolina, increasing the 
size of his farm to 671 acres. 

▲ . 

The Morris farm, registered under the name of Patri- 
cia H. Brown, a descendant of William Morris. 

Most of the property almost left the family 
upon William's death, however, for he willed 
the house and orchard to his wife but decreed 
the remainder of his property, some 450 
acres, be sold and the proceeds divided equal- 
ly among his children. Fortunately, three of 
his sons found a way to honor the will and 
keep the property in the family. They and five 
associates bought the property, the proceeds 
were distributed, and later, one of William's 
grandsons bought out the partners. 

The direct line from William Morris to the 
six current owners is as follows: William Mor- 
ris to John Morris to Elijah Morris to Pink 
Morris to Bertha Morris Hemphill (together 
with her brothers, Fred, Ray, and Jack) to 
Rebecca L. Hemphill and her children, Jac- 
queline and John Templeton, and Patricia 
Hemphill Brown and her children, Kent and 
Julie Brown. 

Pink Morris (1862-1 942) was a particularly 
progressive owner of the farm. He enlarged 
the farm's size to the present 761 acres and 
very early on invested in mechanical power. 
He was one of the first locals to work the land 
with a tractor, to electrically light his home 
with a Delco generator, and to install running 
water gravity-fed from a distant hillside 

The current owners, sixth and seventh gen- 
eration Morris descendants, are content to let 
beef cattle graze the pastures, timber grow on 
the steep hillsides, and occasionally picnic in 
the shade of a remaining chimney of one of 
the three farm homesites — a far cry from the 
days when William's slaves tended the 
orchards and worked the land. 

Submitted by Patricia H. Brown 

Mecklenburg County 


John Potts and his family traveled the 
Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania to 
North Carolina and settled on a 636 acre one 
square mile land grant recorded September 4, 
1753 in what was then Anson County (now 
Mecklenburg). The vast forests and rich bot- 
tom lands of the headwaters of Rocky River 
became home to John Potts and seven suc- 
ceeding generations of his direct family 
descendants. The land grant has passed 
directly by will to each of the generations. 

The Robert Potts, Jr. home built in 1811, now co- 
owned by Mrs. Miriam Smith Whisnant and Mrs. 
Lilyan Smith Hunter. 

The present home was built by a grandson 
of John Potts, Robert Potts, Jr., during the 
year 1811. This date is documented as the 
first entry in his family Bible with the nota- 
tion: "Married Nancy Gillespie August 22, 
1811, and commenced housekeeping January 
1, 1812." The two-story federal style home 
was constructed of massive hand-hewn logs 
cut on the plantation, clapboarded over and 
resting on a fieldstone foundation. Robert 
Potts and his wife, Nancy, raised ten children 
on this farm. 

Robert was a founder of historical Bethel 
Presbyterian Church in 1828, and helped 
organize in 1 837 and served on the first Board 
of Trustees of Davidson College. His sons all 
attended Davidson, and his son Charles Stan- 
hope Potts was a student in the first session. 

The Robert Potts, Jr. home and acreage was 
designated an historic site in the year 1 976 by 
the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Properties Com- 
mission. The site is documented as the only 
restored historical home situated on the origi- 
nal 636 acre land grant acreage with the origi- 
nal 18th century furnishing, always owned 
and occupied by direct descendants in the 
county of Mecklenburg. There are three of the 
original plantation dependency buildings 
remaining in 1 987 — the 1811 log barn with 
its massive granite watering trough, the log 
smokehouse and the outside kitchen. Rem- 


nants of the English boxwood garden also 

In 1 922 Clifton E. Smith and his wife, Mary 
Reid Smith, began a true "love relationship" 
with the Potts farm. Cliff Smith, a sixth gener- 
ation descendant, inherited from his mother, 
Lillie Potts Smith, a portion of the farm. In 
1946 through purchase and by will, he 
became the sole owner of the entire land grant 
acreage. Each family generation before him 
plowed, sowed and harvested the fields a little 
differently, but he tried during his lifetime to 
improve the soil and his farming methods. 
After World War II, the tenant families left 
the farm for industrial jobs; the large cotton 
fields were replaced with pasture grass, and 
fences for the cattle were erected. Tractors 
and other mechanized machinery replaced 
the reliable mule teams who were retired to 
the pastures to live out their lives. 

In 1969 the present owners, Mrs. Miriam 
Smith Whisnant and Mrs. Lilyan Smith Hun- 
ter, inherited the Robert Potts, Jr. home and 
acreage from their father, Clifton E. Smith. 
They pride themselves in being the first wom- 
en in seven generations to own the entire land 

Today, Mrs. Hunter's son, Charles Eugene 
Hunter, is the eighth generation to farm our 
land. He is raising cattle, growing grains and 
hay with the help of our ninth generation far- 
mer, 18 year old Charles Wesley Hunter. 

Another eighth generation family member, 
Miriam Jane Whisnant, a vice-president for 
First Union National Bank, spends many 
weekends helping to maintain the historic 
Robert Potts, Jr. house and grounds. She 
serves frequently as a docent for the home on 
tours sponsored by the Mecklenburg Histori- 
cal Association and the Huntersville, North 
Carolina Woman's Club. 

Several years ago a 1 00 year old man who 
had spent the better part of his life farming for 
our family told my sister and me that we were 
merely "caretakers" of our farm for the good 
Lord and we should honor that trust. For 234 
years our family generations have found love, 
honesty, strength, trust and fortitude in our 
land and may our generation and the ones to 
come continue to hold these qualities in their 
hearts. May we always be good caretakers. 

Submitted by Mrs. Miriam Smith Whisnant and 
Mrs. Lilyan Smith Hunter 


Davis Robinson's two uncles on adjoining 
farms were century farmers. The three fami- 

The Robinson homeplace in the snow, January, 

Mecklenburg — Montgomery 

lies afforded 20 children a college education. 
The three families had Jersey cows. They 
worked farm machinery with one another; 
also they used the same swimming lake. 

Davis Robinson's grandfather, J.M. Davis, 
owned about 40 farms in Mecklenburg Coun- 
ty. He left three of these farms to me and my 
two sisters. His dad grew 1 000 bales of cotton 
on one farm in a year. The panic nearly broke 
him. His son, Capt. J.M. Davis, saved the 

The farm was between Central Avenue and 
Sugar Creek Road, west in Mecklenburg 
County. Capt. J.M. Davis developed a core 
breed of horses. 

Davis Robinson inherited two farms from 
his dad who was county commissioner for ten 
years in Mecklenburg County. One on North 
Graham Street that is leased out on a ten year 
net lease. The other on Davis Robinson Road 
in Derita adjoining IBM. It has 100 acres, 
most of it in pasture, where 40 ponies and 3 1 
beef cattle were kept for several years. 

Davis Robinson has been married to Faire 
Hemby for 52 years. She is a past president of 
The Charlotte Opera Association and a life- 
time member. He has operated Art Flower 
Shop in Charlotte since 1925. He has been a 
Presbyterian, Mason, Elk and Kiwanis for 
over 50 years. Submitted by Davis Robinson 


This tract of land, consisting of 1 10 acres, 
is located on the Patetown Road in Wayne 
County, two miles from the present city limit 
of Goldsboro. The entire back of the farm 
borders Stony Creek. This tract is also a part 
of an 1801 land grant to George Deans and is 
known and referred to in deeds and records as 
the Granger Place. It has been in my family 
for several generations and has been owned 
three times by women. 

The Wilkinson homeplace. 

My grandmother, Alice Granger Ham, 
owned and operated this farm from 1892- 
1901. My mother, Elizabeth Ham Wilkinson, 
was owner and operator from 1901-1958. 
Following this, the farm was bought from the 
heirs of Elizabeth Ham Wilkinson by Eliza- 
beth Wilkinson Mathews of Charlotte. In 
1 980 it was designated as a century farm. 

In 1 870 this farm was sold to Matthew Jor- 
dan Ham by his father-in-law, T.A. Granger, 
and has been in continuous blood line owner- 
ship since then. Matthew Jordan Ham mar- 
ried Alice Eugenia Granger in 1870 and to 
this union were born the following children: 
Elizabeth Ceres Ham (Wilkinson), Thaddeus 
Abner Ham, Mary Ham (Howell), Emma 

Ham (Broome), Ranson Ham, George Ham, 
Adlai Stevenson Ham, Ellen Ham (Barden) 
and Rena Mae Ham. 

The house on the farm dates back to 1870. 
It was built by T.A. Granger for his daughter, 
Alice Granger Ham, but it was so big she 
would never live in it. Instead, she chose to 
spend her life in a small unpainted six room 
house where she reared her family of eight. 
When my mother married Carroll Ashton 
Wilkinson, they moved into the present big 
house and it was here that their family of eight 
grew up. These children were Alice Mazana 
Wilkinson (Haynes), Carroll Ashton Wilkin- 
son, Jr., Helen Wilkinson (Howell), Hiram 
Childrey Wilkinson, Elizabeth Wilkinson 
(Mathews), Elmer Ham Wilkinson, Ivor Wil- 
kinson (West) and Jesse Thompson Wilkin- 

In 1 963 the house was restored in the origi- 
nal form as nearly as possible. Old ceilings, 
chimneys, pine floors, and primitive mantels 
tell the story of the past. The wrap around 
porch is still there, but the floor is now con- 
crete. There are seven bedrooms, two baths, a 
large kitchen and dining area and a den. The 
foundation has never swayed with the storms 
and hurricanes. It even withstood the ravages 
of hurricane Hazel. 

Through the years, the land has produced 
corn, cotton, wheat, tobacco, soybeans, hay 
and potatoes. It has endured the changes from 
primitive tilling of the soil to the modern ways 
of machinery. Old tobacco barns, pack hous- 
es, tenant houses and stock barns have been 
replaced with bulk barns and a huge metal 
building that accommodates tractors and 
trucks. It is here that retired farmers of the 
community gather for conversation, fiddling 
and food. 

My hope is that this family farm will sur- 
vive the ravages of "progress." Now, howev- 
er, I tremble when I see the city creeping 
closer. My roots are in the soil, and hopefully 
this place will continue as a productive family 
farm. I hope my son, Carroll Mathews, will 
carry on — then my grandson, Christopher 
Mathews. Submitted by Elizabeth Mathews 

Montgomery County 


John J. Dunn was born on December 23, 
1 855 in upper Montgomery County. His par- 
ents educated him well, especially for the 
times, and brought him up to be a devout 
Methodist. On May 2, 1 877 he married Sinda 
Ann Britt. Sinda Ann was born March 31, 

The home John and Sinda Dunn built in 1880. 


1855, but as was the custom for girls during 
this period, she received little formal educa- 
tion. Six children were born of this union (five 
girls and one boy). The son, named Dossie 
Anderson, was born August 22, 1891. 

John Dunn purchased his farm in 1866 in 
part from his brother, Raleigh Dunn, and in 
part through a land grant from the state of 
North Carolina. The farm is located three 
miles east of Biscoe. 

Soon after their marriage in 1 877, John and 
Sinda built their home. A large rock fireplace 
furnished the only source of heat for the entire 
house. Access to the kitchen area from the 
main living portion of the house was by way of 
a long porch on the north side. The porch had 
shelves for the water bucket and the wash 
basins. Water was drawn from a shallow well 
dugjust a few steps from the house. The origi- 
nal home still stands today, but for many 
years was used as a tobacco packing house. 

John and Sinda supported themselves and 
their family by farming until both died in 
1928. Cash crops during these times were 
mainly cotton and corn. As was common dur- 
ing this period, a family garden provided 
most of their food supplies. 

In 1914 their son, Dossie, married Crissie 
Leach, a postal clerk from Star. Crissie was 
born April 27, 1 893. They built their home on 
the farm in 1914 and began their family. 
They, too, had six children. 

In 1914 and again in 1920, Dossie bought 
tracts of the farm from his parents and with 
their deaths in 1928, he purchased the 
remainder of the land from the other heirs. All 
of these transactions were recorded in 1928. 
Dossie and Crissie continued to farm the 
land. Their main cash crops were tobacco, 
corn and wheat. In later years peaches and 
watermelons were an added source of income. 

Dossie died in 1 968, but Crissie still resides 
in the home they built together in 1914. One 
child from their marriage survives. Irene 
Dunn Britt lives on the farm with her hus- 
band, Robert. This third generation contin- 
ues to farm the land but today the main cash 
crops are beef cattle and timber. 

Submitted by Irene Dunn Britt 


This land was granted to John D. Haywood 
in 1810, then to James D. Haywood in 1 860, 
to John W. Haywood in 1900, then to G.A. 
Haywood in 1942, and G.A. Haywood, Jr. in 

Crops produced were cotton up to 1945, 
wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, milo and soy- 

The farm consists of a house and a barn; a 
store since 1913, and a sawmill since 1 946. 

Submitted by G.A. Haywood, Jr. 


Montgomery — Moore 

Mr. and Mrs. W.T. McDonald 1967. 

He settled and lived on a part of what is now 
our farm in 1 774. He lived there a short while 
on Mountain Creek in Anson County, now 
Montgomery. This was an area where many 
Highland Scots settled. Among their neigh- 
bors were Allan and Flora McDonald who 
had a large plantation on Cheek's Creek near 
Pekin. These people attended what is now one 
of the oldest Presbyterian Churches in the 
state — Mt. Carmel Presbyterian Church — 
just off Highway 220 near Norman. 

The drums of war began to roll and these 
Scots had to make a decision to remain loyal 
to England or become a Patriot and fight for 
the Revolution. Because of the "Tory Oath" 
and a promise of King George III of 200 acres, 
rent free for 20 years, many chose to be a Loy- 

Soiarle McDonald fought in the battle of 
Moore's Creek, escaped and fought as a cap- 
tain in the Loyalist army around Philadel- 

Later, he and many of his neighbors settled 
in Nova Scotia, "New Scotland." Soiarle 
McDonald sent back claims for 1 ,327 acres of 

A Scot by the name of Allen McDonald 
obtained 290 acres of the land in 1804 and 
1825. The relationship to Soiarle McDonald 
is not known. Montgomery County records 
were burned. 

Surviving family members are Mrs. W.T. 
McDonald, mother, 98 years old; William A. 
McDonald, engineer, Fallston, Maryland; 
Helen McDonald Hart, retired teacher, Mt. 
Holly, North Carolina; Martha McDonald 
Ayers, retired teacher, Fairmont, North Caro- 
lina. Submitted by Martha McDonald Ayers 


The story of our farm goes back to 1772 
when a man by the name of Soiarlie McDon- 
ald came to this country from Scotland. He 
brought a goodly amount of money with him, 
and was granted several hundred acres of 

JohnT. McKinnon was born May 10, 1821 
and died July 23, 1 888. He was the owner of 
thousands of acres of land in Moore and 
Montgomery Counties. 

David Dumas McKinnon, his son, was my 
grandfather. He was the owner of 5,500 + 

acres of farmland, some previously owned by 
John T. McKinnon. He was the operator and 
owner of a cotton gin and general store. The 
first store building was destroyed by fire, but 
the second store building is still standing and 
is used for storage. Cotton, wheat, oats and 
corn were the main crops, all farmed with 
mules. Crops planted today are grains and 
soybeans, planted with tractors. 

Benny McKinnon, my brother, is the owner 
of the John T. McKinnon homeplace. He 
lives there in the one-story farmhouse which 
he has remodeled and modernized. This 
house was built around 1 849. 

Jean McKinnon Hubbard is the owner of 
the David Dumas McKinnon homeplace, and 
presently lives there. Extensive remodeling 
has been done with modern conveniences 
added. This house is a two-story frame house. 
The front four rooms were built in 1 882 and 
three additional rooms and wrap around 
front and back porches were added in 1906. 

Submitted by Jean McKinnon Hubbard 


Our father, William Clark Wright, was 
born in Moore County in 1869, the son of 
Cornelia Wallace Wright and James Madison 

They moved to Biscoe in Montgomery 
County in 1 875 into a one-room log building 
that had been used for a schoolhouse. 

Billie, as he was called by family and 
friends, grew up on this farm, and at the age of 
24 married Susie Elizabeth Dixon of Siler 
City. Billie was given this one-room log house 
and 60 acres of land, and he bought additional 
acres adjoining the 60 from his father. 

Our mother and father started housekeep- 
ing in this one-room log house, and as the 
family grew, other rooms were added. To this 
union were born six daughters and three sons. 

The main crops raised on this farm, besides 
a good garden, were corn, wheat, oats and cot- 
ton. The last year cotton was grown was 1 929. 
During the late 1 920s we operated a dairy. We 
milked the cows by hand, bottled the milk and 
delivered it directly to homes. 

In 1935 our father, William Clark Wright, 
died suddenly and soon after his death the 
brothers and sisters deeded the farm to Glenn 
Wright and William C. Wright, Jr. to pay off 
a loan on the farm and to take care of our 

About 1946 I, William C, Jr., was able to 
get a tobacco allotment and grow tobacco 
until the 1 970s when I didn't have the needed 
help and had to give up my allotment. 

My brother, Glenn, died in 1971 and left 
me as the executor of his estate. He left his half 
of the farm to Bessie and Valeria Wright. Now 
the farm belongs to Bessie, Valeria and Wil- 
liam C. Wright, Jr. We three still live on the 
farm. I am in charge. 

Submitted by William C. Wright, Jr. 

Moore County 


The 100 acres that are farmed and man- 
aged by John Baker today are a part of a larg- 



John Baker and David Keith in front of John Keith 's 
home built circa I860. 

er, approximately 500 acre tract on which his 
great grandfather, Hugh Keith, settled, 
farmed, and raised his nine children. His 
great-grandfather came to Wilmington from 
Scotland in 1803, and after working on the 
Cape Fear River for a while, moved out from 
Fayetteville to the Crain's Creek section of 
lower Moore County. He began clearing and 
working this tract of land around 1810. 

Around 1850 John Baker's grandfather, 
John Keith, so that he might establish his own 
home, was given the present 100 acres by his 
father Hugh Keith. The farm enabled John 
Keith to provide for the needs of his family, 
by raising vegetables, grain, stock and feed. 
The sale of pine pitch used to make turpentine 
provided the small amount of cash needed for 
this family of four children. 

John Baker's mother and father, Sarah and 
Walter Baker, along with his aunt, Catherine 
Keith, through the farm, were able to nourish 
another generation. 

At 89 years old, John Baker today contin- 
ues to efficiently manage this 100-acre farm 
acquired by his great-grandfather 178 years 
ago, and cleared and worked by his grandfa- 
ther 1 38 years ago. 

John has recently deeded the farm to his 
cousin, David Keith and his nephew, J.W. 
Guin, in the hope that it will remain in the 
family for many generations to come. 

David Keith hopes to restore his great- 
grandfather's homeplace and live there in the 
near future. Submitted by John Baker 


Neill Calvin Blue, son of Daniel Blue and 
grandson of "River" Daniel Blue the immi- 
grant, inherited approximately 300 acres of 
the "River" Daniel Blue farm when his father 
died in 1874. 

In an article published in "The Pilot" Sep- 
tember 26, 1924 Neill C. laid claim to the 
introduction of tobacco growing in the Eure- 
ka Community, to the introduction of the 
wide-row method of corn planting (five feet 
between furrows, and thick in the row), and 
the open furrow method of planting oats. He 
enthusiastically supported cooperative mar- 
keting and regarded it as the most plausible 
solution of the farmers' problems. 

A one-story house was built about 1874. 
Neill C. and his wife Nancy had 12 children, 
so it became necessary to add a second story 
to the home in the early 1900s. The appear- 
ance of the house is much the same today. 

The Herbert Nelson Blue farm. 

When Neill died in 1 926, 1 1 of his children 
were still living. The farm was divided into 1 2 
tracts of about 25 acres each. Nancy Blue 
lived in the home until her death in 1932. Sev- 
eral of the children lived on the farm through- 
out the years, but Neill T. Blue, one of the 
sons, assumed the business responsibilities 
for the farm until his death in 1977. Today 
over half of the o